Our current City Council majority consists of longtime Iowa City residents with deep family ties and business connections within our town. They all have good hearts, and abiding desire to improve their community. Many long-term residents perceive them as the safe choice; however, one of the greatest ironies is that this majority of six have made enormously risky decisions, placing in our community in turmoil. We can no longer place our trust in leaders who have shown such bad decision making, and furthered their own interests at the expense of everyone else.
Take, for example, their decision to ignore the NewPi Co-op and select the Chauncey. Several people have advised that I should not focus solely on the Chauncey decision, or the Co-op. I have not. Our campaign has outlined three key areas having little to do with the Chauncey: promotion of entrepreneurship, strong bike/walk infrastructure, and environmental stewardship. But I cannot ignore the mind-blowingly imprudent decision this past January to select the Chauncey while placing the Co-op in great peril.
NewPi has a 45-year record of sustained economic growth. They are a model of democratic enterprise. The downtown NewPi is one of the most profitable co-ops per square foot in the United States. They remained poised to add millions of dollars to our community, providing new green infrastructure and dynamic jobs. They stood ready to purchase hundreds of thousands of dollars of locally grown products.
But that green dynamo stands perilously at risk. It sits on a flash flood plain.
Our city leaders had an opportunity to permanently remove this risk. A green platinum LEED certified building with scores of workforce housing stood ready to permanently solve this problem. A guy named Tim Dwight was the developer, ready to promote Iowa City as the center of green development.
Instead, the Council bet on a 20-story behemoth, driving our NewPi to build 30 miles to the north, and taking your hard-earned tax money to subsidize those who did not need it. If these (Council) people take a healthy zone, and screw it up, how can we trust them to improve an area under stress such as Sycamore Mall? Our community can no longer withstand the risks of the status quo.
Let us adopt leaders who trust your judgment rather than telling you they are right and you are wrong. It is your town. Take the safe choice. Vote for progressive change.