Tuesday, April 05, 2005

One Broadway Plaza

Normally, a new office building would be an unmitigated positve. Who could argue against a huge new building that will house new businesses and add to the visual impact of a city which to date has too little about which to boast.

Don't get me wrong: I like Santa Ana, but it's mostly residential and mostly lower middle- to middle-class. No Central Park, no Disneyland, no National Hockey League team and no beaches. There is a zoo.

The problem with all this is that we're asked to vote (local Prop A) on whether the building is to be built. Dudes and dudettes, what's that all about?? We know that a developer has to jump through dozens if not hundreds of hoops to get city, county and state approval for every doorknob and flush handle. He has to pay untold bribes and kiss some horribly ugly butts to get all these approvals.

Then, he has to wait until the unwashed, uninformed, unconcerned masses approve the project, or not? Who'd risk so much capital under these conditions?

What I haven't been able to learn--mostly my own fault, for lack ot time--is who's paying for all this. The developer and his investors? Or taxpayers?

The proponents, seemingly just about every local civil servant and elected official in the county, make enormous claims as to the benefits to be expected when this building is built. They are much like the claims made for just about every local referendum the city gov't proposes. We, of course wait in rapt silence whlle these claims become reality.

It will pay for millions in street improvements. Fer sure Santa Ana needs street improvements.

It will fund additional police and fire fighters. More traffic citations and huge red trucks to pull over and let pass.

It will create jobs. New donut shops for the police and fire fighters.

It will improve our city. Our city has nowhere to go but up.

It will help balance the city budget, at no cost to taxpayers. Even after spending all that new money on the streets, police and fire fighters?

Opponents cite such heart-rending problems as the spectre of large portions of downtown Santa Ana spending big portions of the day in the shade (of the new building) and the ever popular obscene increases in street traffic. The obvious solution to which will prove to be a new light rail system a la San Diego, which we'll all be asked to vote on in a couple of years.

Then, we'll learn how a new light rail system will help pay for street improvements, more police and more fire fighters.

Well, after this exhaustive, in-depth analysis, I still wonder why we voters are being asked whether a new private office building should be built.

Warm regards,

Col. Hogan
Stalag California


? said...

Good question.

? said...