Friday, August 26, 2016

Build It And They Will Come... Someday

Watch this video of the biggest city that never was:

Now let's apply what you learned from the video to projects going on locally, say our Downtown Performing Arts Center and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite.

From Wikipedia:

"California City has one landowners' resort, one PGA golf course, one prison, and one municipal airport. Much of the workforce of Edwards Air Force Base, which is located just to the south of the city, is made up of city residents. Other major sources of employment include California City Correctional Center (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation); Mojave Air and Space Port and its flight test operations; the Hyundai/Kia Proving Grounds located in the rural southwestern part of the city; and nearby cities, such as Tehachapi, Ridgecrest, Boron, Palmdale, and Lancaster."

Now think about that for just a minute. Should any one of the Edwards Air Force Base, the Mojave Air and Space Port, California Correctional Center or the Hyundai/Kia Proving Grounds close their doors, California City goes bankrupt as people leave town in search of jobs.

Don't believe me? Also from Wikipedia:

"Only 807 workers lived and worked in California City in 2006. This was 24.3% of the city's population. 31% of the male population were public administrators in 2006. Public administration is the most common job in California City. *

807 workers in 2006 in a city with a population of 8,385 as of the year 2000? Where did they all go?
"According to the census[13] of 2000, there were 8,385 people, 3,067 households, and 2,257 families residing in the city. As of 2006 the city's population grew 8.9% from 12,106 to 13,219. California City outpaced rivals Palmdale and Lancaster, making the city the 12th fastest growing city in California."

And they're calling this place a success?

Sure, like the video said, California City was a success for the developer who sold every lot but was it a success for all those people who bought into his plans and were able to sell the properties they bought? Was it a success for all those people who picked up and left between 2000 and 2006? Are speculators who bought up downtown Greensboro properties about to loose their asses? Are taxpayers going to make sure they don't?

And what about that megasite? As Mayor Vaughan is quick to tell us, there are no investors in the megasite-- the bills are being footed by the taxpayers. But commercial real estate agents will sell the properties and commercial real estate developers will develop the properties... All at taxpayers expense.

And even if it takes a hundred years to fill it up they will always call it a success. Just like they still tell us that the $120 Million Dollar Fed Ex project that promised 1,500 human workers and delivered only robots was a success.

There needs to be a new measure of success in America and that measure needs to be sustainability. When I'm elected Mayor of Greensboro I will make sustainability our measure of success.