A comment was left this morning:
While I disagree with the entirety of this comment because of some false assumptions and issues overlooked to support their position, it is worth responding to.
I would challenge everyone involved in this highly charged argument to consider what is positive to the community as a whole. Let's put aside the name calling and engage in civil discourse. This issue, public investment into a public entity, to benefit what is elementally a private sector entity, to then generate sufficient secondary benefit is in fact the crux of the issue at hand. Simply, the existence of said entity will in turn generate advantages to the public, i.e., a public good. While public/government expenditures on items such as a baseball stadium may directly benefit the direct consumer of that stadium, the team using it, there are other benefits, direct and indirect, which play to the public good, namely stadium employees, vendors, neighboring businesses. The item of debate, then, is whether the public expenditure will provide enough public good, and benefit enough entities, that the return on the expenditure is a positive benefit to the community as a whole. The related challenge is that public good cannot by nature be measured solely in dollars; but also by public safety, satisfaction, and sense of community worth. Urani in Hazel Dell.
I would challenge everyone involved in this highly charged argument to consider what is positive to the community as a whole.I considered that before my first letter was typed on my keyboard about this.
You see, this isn't ABOUT "the community as a whole." This is about the interests of the owners of the team, who stand to make a fortune off of us in a facility they pay next to nothing for, on yet another taxpayer subsidized scam that will, at most, benefit a grand total of one percent of the "community" while the other 99% pay for it.
For me, my self-interest is precisely the same as the Bears': what's in it for me?
The answer is: nothing.
Using your reasoning, anybody could bring almost any private entity into "the community" and making this same pitch, extort taxpayer dollars from us, without our permission, as a way to pay for what will, in reality, benefit the very few. You know, like a Class A baseball team?
A Winco grocery store? A gas station. A multiplex movie theater. A restaurant.
Those things are here... and under construction. To a greater or lesser extent, they ALL are "positive to the community." But how is it we're going to be on the hook for a baseball team... but not a Shari's restaurant?
At least the entire community can use a restaurant like that around the clock, 365 days a year... and we don't have to pay extra on completely irrelevant activities because they've been mandated without our say so to get them built, either. They rise or fall on their own merits... precisely like this baseball team should, without one nickel in taxpayer subsidies.
Would you and your fellow travelers, for example, be willing to pay an increased gas tax to build my dream of a full service, NHRA Nationals qualified drag strip here in Clark County? There isn't one around here (PIR is not "Nationals" quality) so you'd chip in because 1/100th of the people of this county are into drag racing?
Of course not. But what's the difference? ALL of the principles are the same.
Yet that is precisely what is being demanded (Note, I said "demanded," not "asked," because those of you supporting this won't BE asking... you'll be TELLING) when you tell ME that *I* have to pay for something YOU want that, in fact, we do not need, and something that is NOT a function of government.
How will Amboy be better off? Battle Ground? And where does the downtown Vancouver community that will be "benefited" by this begin... and end? Will Cowlitz County "benefit" from this? They will?
Then how come they aren't paying for it as well?
You see, there is no benefit for anyone that a. doesn't go to the games. b. doesn't work at the stadium. C. doesn't own or work for the team.
It's easy for people to throw around numbers that have no basis in reality for their decision making process when it isn't THEIR money that's paying for this... they want MY money to pay for THEIR baseball team and facilities. And *I* don't want to pay for YOUR gig... because I ask you... what happens if they're wrong? What happens if the projected income does not come in... like that joke of a completely taxpayer subsidized Hilton Hotel that was supposed to be the downtown game changer... and now has vaporized millions of taxpayer dollars?
How'd THAT work out for us?
How much better would this money be spent if it were dedicated to law enforcement and gang task force related issues? For me, personally, keeping people alive is far more positive then baseball, yet we don't seem to have nearly enough money to do that... or pay for enough teachers... or school sports programs that will TRULY make a difference.
The community this thing will be positive for should pay for it if it's all that. And that community does NOT include me.
Let's put aside the name calling and engage in civil discourse.Forgive me, but I get REALLY angry when people who have been elected to look out for us lie to us as a matter of policy.
I call Tim Leavitt "The Liar" because his campaign was built on lies and he lacks the integrity to do the honorable thing and resign.
I call Steve Stuart "The Liar" because again, as part of HIS campaign, he promised us a county wide vote on light rail THIS NOVEMBER. Do you see that happening?
Are we just supposed to forget about the lies? Ignore them? Cast aside the fact that these men are provably dishonorable and now are actively engaging in slamming us with additional millions of dollars of debt because of something THEY want at OUR expense?
How do we know they not lying now? They certainly did when it suited them to get elected. Why do you think they're telling the truth now?
And Bomar. Who the hell died and left him in charge? He's NOTHING in our community, any more then I am, but because he's a cheerleader of some sort, he gets the press as he joins with the others to steal my money to get something built that will allow him to relive his jock days vicariously through others?
I don't think so.
When people abuse the electorate, as these three want to abuse the electorate... where is there room for civil discourse? Would you be civil to lying thieves who have already proven they will say or do anything to get elected? And we're supposed to forget about that?
This issue, public investment into a public entity, to benefit what is elementally a private sector entity, to then generate sufficient secondary benefit is in fact the crux of the issue at hand.Well, that's one way of putting it.
But like I said, the same criteria could be applied to ANY private entity. Why should baseball get any special consideration that say, my consulting business doesn't get? Or a Safeway? Or an AM/PM?
It's because it begins and ends with baseball. And if the public winds up getting screwed because they're terrible (and they are) or because Portland gets a AAA or major league team (which isn't an impossible scenario) then what?
Simply, the existence of said entity will in turn generate advantages to the public, i.e., a public good.Like, say, a Burger King.
While public/government expenditures on items such as a baseball stadium may directly benefit the direct consumer of that stadium, the team using it, there are other benefits, direct and indirect, which play to the public good, namely stadium employees, vendors, neighboring businesses.Then let "stadium employees, vendors and neighboring businesses" pay for it.
The item of debate, then, is whether the public expenditure will provide enough public good, and benefit enough entities, that the return on the expenditure is a positive benefit to the community as a whole.Not.
As I've repeatedly pointed out, the "item of debate" is that the same could be said for any business.
Why not apply an entertainment tax to help out HP? Let's get another trucking company up and running to replace the one headquartered here over by the now closed airfield off about 90th and SR 503? After all, as I pointed out, movie tickets have as much to do with baseball as gynecologists do with NASCAR.
Why don't we tax the newspapers instead? They're so hot to make this happen, yet THEY are completely off the hook for paying to build it, and in fact, stand to make money off it from advertising. So, why not tax THEM?
For me, the issue is this: as I have shown, ANY business could make the same claims as this baseball team. Yet, we certainly don't FORCE a charge on the rest of the county to pay for these businesses. The fixation is that it's baseball, one notch above high school baseball at that.
This is a business. No different, better (and arguably worse based on review of their press in Yakima) than any other business and no more deserving of our consideration or forced financial support as a result, particularly one that has likely scammed Leavitt, Stuart, Bomar et al to just get a better deal out of Yakima, then any other business.
And won't our political leaders who fell for this scam look good then?
The related challenge is that public good cannot by nature be measured solely in dollars; but also by public safety, satisfaction, and sense of community worth. Urani in Hazel Dell.The city of Vancouver is a train wreck run by a thug. And a baseball team paid for by tens of thousands of people who won't set foot in it, particularly when the team itself will be paying roughly $750 per game will do absolutely nothing to fix that.
The county wide effort to jack us for tax dollars is being done to spare the people of the city of Vancouver from the burden, but not the reward, of paying for this themselves... as they would if it were all that great. They not only want to rip us off, they want to make sure that the risk is assumed county wide for THEIR gig.
And if you want to see Leavitt fold up like a cheap suit, then move this thing to the fair grounds where any such facility obviously belongs. He'd throw a fit at warp speed and all of this "community benefit" stuff would fly out the window in a blink of an eye.
Put this to a vote. I double-dog dare you.
Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your response.