Cleveland rocks?

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This comment on an earlier entry by S. Lee was so well-made that I thought it deserved spotlighting here:

Rather than be accused of a being a "nay sayer" (which, as we all know, is almost as bad as being a fan of Ann Coulter), I would suggest using Cleveland, OH as an example of how buying stuff does not constitute economic development. Cleveland is a great example of a city population that was sucked into to voting for tax increase after tax increase to pay for stuff that would magically transform the city into greatness. Instead, all they got was rapid population loss, high taxes, and a crime rate even higher than Tulsa's.

Much of what is being hustled to Tulsa voters and the method of hustling looks like Cleveland deja vu all over again. Take a look at Cleveland's web site. If stuff was what made a city, then Cleveland ought to be solid gold. But it ain't. People are moving out of Cuyahoga county over to Lorain county ... where the taxes are lower (probably crime too). Brothers and sisters, can I have a Homer Simpson "Doh!"

Note a web page about living downtown; and (egad!) a waterfront project.

I've read comments about how full the Arkansas river has been lately, and wouldn't it be nice if it were always like that. I wouldn't know since you can only see the river from a very, very small part of Tulsa where I've not taken the time to go so I can see a river. Wow! A river! I'm sure I missed out on the thrill of my life -- but I sure have seen a lot of bad roads. I'll trade some better roads and lower crime for a sandy river (that I don't often see) any day, any time.

It might be interesting, at one of the county meetings, to get a show of hands of how many people know what kind of convention center and city offices Charlotte, NC has. How many people at the meeting care about what other stuff Charlotte has bought lately? If they got a job offer in Charlotte, would they be asking what kind of stuff has Charlotte bought lately; or would they be more interested in mundane things such as transportation, crime rate, and schools?

Some folks are just so stinkin' boring.

It's been a while since I've been to Cleveland, but I attended two weddings in Cleveland and a third in Canton back in the early '90s. I remember going with some friends down to the Flats and eating at (ho hum) TGI Fridays on a Friday night. (It was May 1992 and the night of Johnny Carson's last tonight show.) The Flats is a former industrial / warehousing area on the banks of the Cuyahoga River which was converted into an entertainment district, much like Bricktown in Oklahoma City or Laclede's Landing in St. Louis. I was surprised to read not long ago that the Flats are now under re-re-development.

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3 Comments

Bob said:

I've never been to Cleveland, but S. Lee has some apt comments to be made about the Siren's Song of River Development.

The $282 million for the proposed $0.004 Kaiser River Tax will merely be the DOWN PAYMENT on the nebulous, Never-Ending concept of River Development.

The Tax Vampires will NEVER let go of this tax if the local voters foolishly approve it.

It will go on forever, paid for by your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

CGHill said:

I've passed through Cleveland three times in the past seven years. I retain a sort of sentimental fondness for the place, and they've done a good job of keeping downtown up, but once you get out of the tourist-y zones (something I make a point of doing) things get scary very quickly. At one time they had something like 800,000 people in the city; now it's a bit more than half that.

manasclerk Author Profile Page said:

I'm not sure that the situation is really the same. Cleveland is a rust belt city with a very old, decaying infrastructure. They build these neat things because there isn't anything in Cleveland worth going to.

Cleveland is more like a Gary, IN that has some shot at survival. Tulsa isn't really the same. It doesn't get nearly as much snow (man does it blow off Lake Erie out there) nor are there as many old industrial sections of town that have massive environmental contamination.

I"ve been to Cleveland off and on for the last twenty odd years. I even did some classes at Case Institute, and my sister-in-law studied that that conservatory attached to Case Western. It's a sad, sad town because there aren't jobs.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 31, 2007 12:29 AM.

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