Fayette Alliance drops support of CentrePointe
Since CentrePointe’s public introduction in March 2008, the Alliance has conditionally supported the project-in furtherance of much needed investment and redevelopment in the downtown area and as a core strategy in preserving Fayette County’s renowned rural landscape. These conditions are grounded in the legal requirements and recommendations of the Downtown Masterplan and the EPA consent decree.
However, recent LFUCG Council proceedings and meetings with members of Lexington’s infill development community and local political leadership indicate that the developers of CentrePointe continue to proceed through the TIF financing and local ordinance processes without meaningfully addressing these conditions.
No doubt the Fayette Alliance is in favor of infill redevelopment on the Woolworth Block, but it must be done in accordance with the Downtown Masterplan and the EPA Consent Decree. In addition, there should be a transparent government process by which the community can meaningfully participate in the development’s design.
As such, the Fayette Alliance is withdrawing its support of the CentrePointe project at this time. It is our hope that we can work together to address the design, scale, infrastructure and other issues associated with this landmark project. To do otherwise hangs the promise of CentrePointe and Lexington-Fayette County in the balance.
- Knox van Nagell, executive director of The Fayette Alliance
Public officials have no business in investment
Dear Mr. Higginbotham,
In response to your confidence in the City Council as economic developers (Business Lexington, July 11, Joseph Higginbotham; Ask About My Economic Development Plan), I point you to an editorial in the Wall Street Journal (July 14, 2008, There Is No Reason to Panic). It is wrongheaded and, in my opinion, highly immoral for public officials to use taxpayers’ dollars to “invest” in business, save reducing taxes for everyone and otherwise getting out of the way. Markets and civil society, not government bureaucrats, are the best creators of wealth; people wish to live their lives according to their own dictates, not in a world created by elitist central planners.
You exhibit strong statist tendencies in your words and behavior, so I find it odd that you are so prominent with the Chamber of Commerce which, in principle, should be for free markets and limited government. As the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacle clearly illustrates, it is the hapless taxpayer who must bear the brunt of the to-be-expected government incompetencies. Bureaucrats are no different than teenagers with their parents’ credit cards when it comes to spending money wisely and well. The discipline of spending and investment only comes when it is your own hard-earned money. It is incomprehensible that this basic idea is so easily ignored by the public who should know better, and greedy seekers-of-power will rarely instruct them otherwise, a huge disappointment in our leadership, to be sure.