E-mail Scott
Scott's Links
About the Author
Opinion Archives
Social Media:
Facebook
Twitter
Tumblr
Google Plus
YouTube
Flickr
PhotoBucket
Monthly Archives:

January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
December 2012
January 2013
February 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
July 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017

Powered by Blogger
Subscribe via RSS

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We need new leadership in city government

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

The handling of Mother Bear Pizza's efforts to build a new shopping center on West Third Street - a project that would have created construction jobs and jobs for the businesses that would locate there - shows that the current philosophy of city government needs to change. We are not being served by the top-down approach of micromanaging development and business. (See here and here for more.)

Because of delays in the approval process, Mother Bear's abandoned the West Third location and instead will renovate the old Smokey Bones building next to Kohl's. Other tenants had already backed out of the project because of foot-dragging by city government. While the new plan will re-open a long-dormant building, the opportunity for greater development has been lost.

The problem is the basic philosophy of city government, in the planning commission and the city council. Instead of deferring to the private property rights of developers, the city council and plan commission want to direct development of land owned by other people in a way that will benefit "the community." (Whatever that means.) One plan commission member said he wants the city council to allow "greater plan commission discretion over a building’s design" - meaning even more micromanagement of business.

This top-down, central planning approach is not the way city government should operate. The city obviously does have some interest in directing development. For example, if a poorly-designed project will create a traffic hazard or put too much of a strain on overcrowded streets, the city has an interest in regulating the area. But the idea that even such things as building design should be dictated by the city is absurd.

It should also be pointed out that a large national chain - for example, McDonald's, Wal-Mart or Starbucks - will have the corporate resources to tough it out against city government. A small business will not have that kind of leverage. So the city government that allegedly wants to see more local businesses and fewer chains is actually making it easier for chains to come in at the expense of a local business.

We have a vibrant business community, despite the efforts of city government, because the economic engine known as Indiana University helps overcome some of the obstacles created by city government. We can be even better if we jettison the top-down approach in favor of a bottom-up approach more friendly to economic development, local business, and the jobs those businesses hope to create.

(0 Comments)

Note: All posts must be approved by the blog owner before they are visible on the blog.

Comments:

Post a Comment


Below are the rules for commenting on ConservaTibbs.com.

  1. A reasonable level of civility is expected. While it is expected that controversial political and social issues may generate heated debate, there are common-sense limits of civility that will be enforced.

  2. This blog is a family-friendly site. Therefore no cursing, profanity, vulgarity, obscenity, etc. will be allowed. This is a zero-tolerance rule and will result in automatic deletion of the offending post.

  3. Anonymity has greatly coarsened discourse on the Internet, so pseudonyms are discouraged but not forbidden. That said, any direct criticism of a person by name cannot be done anonymously. If you criticize someone, you have to subject yourself to the same level of scrutiny or the comment will be deleted.

  4. Please keep your comments relevant to the topic of the post.

  5. All moderation decisions are final. I may post an explanation or I may not, depending on the situation. If you have a question or a concern about a moderation decision, e-mail me privately rather than posting in the comments.

Thank you for your cooperation.