The Regency Center (Target) is still being delayed after years of stalling, foot-dragging, and outright obfuscation on the part of the City abetted by a tiny (but vocal) cohort of NIMBY activists who cloak their selfishness in civic pride. Now the Deer Creek project (Lowes) is entering into that same ever-mutating cycle of abuse, e.g., the review and (dis)approval process. Why any business person would want to engage with a community that so-reviles commerce is beyond me. Maybe the City mothers and fathers could hire the Disney folks to run the City as an amusement park called NIMBYLAND. Think of the rides: The Road to Nowhere, Legal Limbo, The Incredible Expanding Fee...
City Manager John Brown is yelling from the rooftops that the City has about a year before fiscal Armageddon. Is anyone listening? Last year, Mayor Glass-Half-Full promised that, "Revenues will come," without actually saying from where. Since then, when he's not intimidating City staff, his "revenue-generating-efforts seem to have focused on stalling the Deercreek shopping center, now that that the Regency Center is has been delayed yet another year, if not longer.
You know, folks who are born in a town and lived there all their lives, or others who move to place because they appreciate it's qualities have a right to feel strongly about the future of their town and express these feelings strongly. No problem there. Of course, that group I just mentioned includes pretty much everyone in Petaluma, not just the "no-growth-ers" Oh, excuse me, the politically correct term for "build-nothing-that-we-don't-like-or-we'll-sue" is Smart Growth. The problem with the Smart/No Growth gang, is that they've forgotten their biology. In EVERY living organism, growth and change MUST happen. When an entity ceases to grow and adapt it starts to die. I don't want my town to die and I don't want to live in a town that's radically changed from the town I love. However, I'm willing to listen with an open mind, accept new ideas that can benefit others (not just me), abide by the rules I voted to approve, and not to sue when things don't go my way. That's what make me - and a lot of others in town - different from the so-called Progressive / Smart Growth gang.
Well kids, the Road Diet that not only failed to energize commerce but further clogged traffic west of Washington Blvd will now be inflicted on the downtown merchants. Our council majority must not have heard about all of the centrally-planned disasters (all done by the way in the name of achieving progressive, Utopian goals) that crippled the Soviet and Chinese economies and are now causing Venezuela to circle the drain. Or maybe they did, we're now learning that "progressive" really is synonymous with "anti-business."
I attended the Candidates Forum last night and was awed by a spectacular display of populist demogogery worthy of the great Huey Long. This candidate laid claim to every good deed and positive action that has occurred in our fair city since before he was born. A repeat winner of the Janice Cader Thompson Award for repeatedly stonewalling development, he nonetheless claims be solely responsible an economic revival in P-town, the benefits of which (he promises) WILL come. A vote for this individual is evidence that the particular voter... A) has amnesia, B) lacks the basic cognitive skills required to participate in electoral politics, C) would really prefer to live in Venezuela.
Well, the anti-growth city council majority is setting a dangerous precedent by inciting frivolous, nuisance litigation against the Regency Center (apparently to appease it's NIMBY base), while at the same time pretending to support growth to replenish the empty city coffers and, the mind boggles, takes credit for bringing the Regency Center to town. Anyone who really believes the Hon. Mr. Glass when he takes a bow for the Regency Center needs adult supervision, or is off their meds.
The soap opera that accompanied the Regency Center project is finally winding down. Hopefully someday soon the sales tax revenue from the Target and the other stores will begin to replenish the City's empty bank account. Next up - Deer Creek Plaza. One can only hope that the Guardians of Camelot, or is it Brigadoon, will judge this next project on its merits and not on whether it mirrors their fixation with some ideal Utopian future and/or Petaluma's mythical past.
We all know the maxim, “Be careful what you ask for because you may get it.” Well, it looked as if the no-growth contingent in P-Town has achieved their goal. Growth of any kind was stalled or flat-out killed. Then the chickens (how appropriate) came home to roost. An economic downturn coupled with diminished City revenues has forced some difficult decisions. Cherished features of Petaluma have been trimmed or eliminated. Even core Civic services such as Police and Fire protection are threatened. I applaud Mr. Glass and Ms. Torliatt for finally succumbing to reality and supporting the Regency development. Maybe they saw that their beloved town is slowly dying or perhaps they realized that not every voter shares the same desire to preserve Petaluma in amber. It’s a biological fact that organisms either grow or die. Nature abhors stasis. To live is to grow and (dare I say it), to change.
The City Council Majority is nothing if not predictable. Even though Mayor Pam and Councilperson Glass are running for new office - and presumably would like to demonstrate to the voters some behavior other than ritual obfuscation, hibitual dissembling, and rigid a adherence to hidebound liberal orthodoxy - they still can't resist further attempts to stymie the Regency Center project. Other other hand, perhaps the majority of local voters really want robot progressives in all elected positions. If so, right on, guys.