Economic Dysfunction? –Robert M. Shelby, 8-16-11. [252 txt wds]

Development doesn’t require “mastery” of technique more special than salesmanship. It requires turning loose those who want to push it, and opening the way for them, whatever the reasons. Practical steps occur in necessary sequences. It’s never been rocket science. It’s always been pocket science. Someone has always needed to ask, “Whose pocket?” City government is not culpable for reflecting all the discordant push-&-pull surrounding these multiple and disparate interests. That’s what cities do. Honest governments try to maximize a whole range of possible benefits for everyone.

Fact is, any local dysfunction here in Benicia’s economy relates directly to national conditions, not special foolishness on the part of mayor and council. “Dysfunction” is an artifact of viewpoint, position and purpose. Having no likelihood of profit from property, whether it be real or ‘unreal’ estate, nor any interest in development for its own sake, I see no dysfunction at all. Some of us do see potentially severe dysfunctions issuing from development if it were not to be circumspectly conducted.

I can sympathize with the realtors and land-owners frustrations at our tortuous history of trouble and delay. Everyone would love to see the right kinds of development, development that does not ruin our small-town atmosphere or pollute its air and water; development that contributes to an energy-efficient future for our country; holistic development that stays congenial and convenient to human life. I sympathize also with people’s fear that such congeniality and convenience, even beauty, may not happen.

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