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Your Opinion: Proposal commits too much, too soon

Your Opinion: Proposal commits too much, too soon

January 25th, 2012 by Peter Oetting, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

"Can you tell me how to get to Adrian's Island" was a well-quoted political cartoon a few years ago. Have we ever gotten railroad clearance on that project? Yet the "Transformers" want more money out of our pockets for civic improvements. The Millbottom area is not meant for retail/tourist attractions. There will be no gondolas floating down Wears creek.

Lets face it folks. All there has been is studying and studying of Adrian's Island. As for Wears creek, I don't think we will develop a riverfront like San Antonio, Texas, or Venice with a waterfront locale. There will not be trendy coffee shops or trendy boutiques along Wears creek.

An elderly citizen of Jefferson City told me that during the depression, Jefferson City wasn't hurt that bad because of they had conventions showing up here. And I got to thinking about: there were no interstate highways, just rail and river traffic; Jefferson City had a pronounced attraction through nightlife entertainment (I believe it was notoriously associated with the Millbottom). As far as the state capital attracting people to JC, the only people it really attracts is the occasional tourist or a politician and we know politicians don't like to spend their own money. They'd rather spend someone else's nickel.

What has attracted people to Jefferson City in one form or another since the battle of the Alamo is the Missouri State Penitentiary. I am all for preserving the value of the penitentiary. It is unfortunate the state agency in charge of the penitentiary is allowing it to deteriorate beyond repair so developers can convince some politician to knock it down and put up more state office buildings in Jefferson City. And use more taxes to build them.

I feel investments in civic improvements at this time are premature. In time U.S 50 will be expanded to four lane traffic throughout Missouri. At that time there will probably be more interstate traffic that Jefferson City will naturally attract.

At a time when state employees have to worry about job cuts and reduced benefits, all this talk about 10-year capital improvement projects seems too much of a commitment. And I would like to know more about what the planned St. Mary's renovation, entertainment district, Capital Mall Incentive Study, "Angel Network Start-up" and the "Mobile Device App" involve.

We are being hit with a menu of inspiration, and it is not ala carte. Can some of this be done without sales taxes hitting Jefferson City residents?