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It is over, and the people of the city lost.

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
http://www.readingeagle.com/re/news/1151041.asp

It is a sad day in our office… The planning commission rolled over because of political pressure, lies and corruption.

I have been told that much of what they was a lie, especially the last line. It is because of things like this that make me wonder if this city will ever turn around.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
*oh, if you get a chance, read it, and let me know your thoughts. It is out of our hands now, but hey, things happen.
 

Belle

Cyburbian
Messages
142
Points
6
The compromise reduces that impact by moving some parking spaces, changing the building's color from light beige to an earth-tone beige and ensuring landscaping will obscure the view of the building from the river and the creek,

This is by far my favorite line from the article. I'm sure these changes are what turned the tide.;)

Good luck job hunting--I'd get outta there too. The following does not inspire confidence in the elected officials.

Some council members said the approval of the project makes it unnecessary to pursue further personnel changes, such as Eppihimer's proposal to expand the commission to nine members from seven so there would be enough members in favor of the project.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
I don't know M, it sounds like the local government review process lead to compromise and an expansion of the tax base.

Sounds the the process worked. I would not take these things so personally.

Those are pretty strong words on your part, "political pressure lies and corruption."

Wow.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
A question for the CD guys ... Mikey-Poo ??

When companies get these tax breaks until 2013, are they required to stay there after that time? Or can they just pack up as soon as their free ride is over?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
gkmo62u said:
I don't know M, it sounds like the local government review process lead to compromise and an expansion of the tax base.

The sad thing is that this development is in what we call the KOZ, they do not have to pay taxes for up to 10 years. The sad thing is, they can pick up and leave any time they want.

The original plan asked for room to expand there plant at some point, and a much larger building to start off with. I wonder what is going to happen when they want to expand.

The city of reading will be standing there footing the bill for the 108 loans.

What is even more is the last line where Mr. Gerber stated that most of the employees live in the city… I meet some of the employees at a local bar one night. NONE of the ones that I met lived in the city. They did not know I was a planner.

Our administration was about to do anything it had to, to make sure that this development happens. Even to the point of threaten one of the fellow planners, rearranging and reorganizing the planning commission, and publicly calling the planning staff a decrease during a moment of craziness. Things like that don’t happen to people, unless there are stronger motives, such as promises, or money on the line.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Mike D. said:
A question for the CD guys ... Mikey-Poo ??

When companies get these tax breaks until 2013, are they required to stay there after that time? Or can they just pack up as soon as their free ride is over?
Since I have been here we have always used "claw-back" provisions and development agreements to ensure that companies or developers do not simply "take the money and run." For example:

- Instead of a grant provide a forgivable loan. P + I payments are forgiven once the developer meets the standards of the loan, which might be something like constructing a mixed-use redevelopment project with an assessed value of at least $500,000.

- Require payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to ensure repayment of TIF. In a multi-year development, a certain value increment must be achieved by the end of each year. If the developer fails to meet that value, he must make a PILOT payment for the difference in taxes collected.

- Subordinated low-interest loans are provided to a business to create jobs. The company commits to creating a certan number of positions, and the size of the loan is partly determined by this. For each job not created, the interest rate is raised a fractional amount up to prime plus one or two percent.

These are good practices that you will find in many communities with competent ED staff. I personally believe the Upper Midwest as a whole is better than other regions of the country when it comes to incentives. Generally, we do not like to offer an entire package (local + state) of incentives more than about $10,000 per job created. I have been up against other states where they have offered $60,000 per job. It just makes no economic sense to do that.
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
So the reporter knowingly lied? Call and get a retraction, correction, or write an editorial. That is a bunch of bunk.

Sorry you are dealing with that Michaelskis.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,465
Points
44
Huston said:
So the reporter knowingly lied? Call and get a retraction, correction, or write an editorial. That is a bunch of bunk.

Sorry you are dealing with that Michaelskis.
He was just quoting Mr. Gerber. (it just makes Gerber look like an idiot)
 

jresta

Cyburbian
Messages
1,474
Points
23
Yup. I didn't bat an eye, M. Make sure if you quit you raise hell. Just find out who's on the editorial board of the paper and who the editor plays golf with first.

This is the way it was when i was in Chester and far worse in Camden. They have the county sewage treatment plant, the county incinerator, the county jail, the state jail, St. Lawrence Cement (chased out of Canada b/c of environmental violations) the Del Monte cannery, etc.

Every time one was built the reasoning went, "but this will provide jobs (read:profits) that are desperately needed in Camden".

Not a one of those places, including the shiny new stuff on the waterfront, pays property taxes. They are all in 15-20 year PILOT programs that don't come close to the full value of location and available infrastructure and some places employ no Camden residents at all. A lot of this stuff is "public/private" partnership - meaning public expenses, property tax exempt, and private profit.

The county has controlled local affairs for 35 years or so, always making sure their guys got elected (it's amazing what a side deal with a local pastor can get you.) The State recently took over the job, appointed a former one-term mayor as CEO of the city, suspended elections, and wrested all legal and decision making power from the City Council. The city is now a developers paradise, except certain developers, aware of the corruption, are already leaving town.

It's democracy at work. One dollar one vote.
 
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