Cross Post from Andrew Richter on Mayor Bowman’s Sun Post Article
Andrew Richter responds to Mayor ReNae Bowman’s letter to the editor. Bowman’s comments are in blue and Richter’s are in black.
After reading Mayor Bowman’s letter to editor in the Sun Post about Northwest Family Physicians, I feel the need to respond;
From the Sun Post;
I attended the Crystal Medical Center open house located on Bass Lake Road and Bottineau Boulevard. It is a beautiful facility that demonstrates the change that occurs when local government and private sector work together towards a mutual vision of community improvement.
The fact that business has to work with government shows just how big and powerful government has become.
Thank you to the tenants and partners, who in some way committed resources toward the develop of this facility, including Mark Davis and Michael Sharpe of The Davis Group (developer of the Crystal Medical Center), BDH & Young Design (general contractor), Northwest Family Physicians (tenant) and Mark Pottenger, clinic administrator, NovaCare Rehabilitation (tenant), Imaging Center of Crystal (tenant), Crystal Economic Development Authority, Crystal city staff and City Council.
Thank you to the citizens of Crystal, whose tax dollars provided seed money for this project. Crystal Citizens have a five-year investment in this project.
Seed money? You mean the money we “loaned” them right? That’s funny, I don’t remember giving the city of Crystal permission to “invest” my money in a private business. I don’t remember a public hearing on the issue.
It’s also weird listening to a council that constantly complains about not having enough money for police and fire, yet at the same time they have the money to give to a private business. Isn’t in also interesting that Mayor Bowman leaves out the amount…..I believe to be in the $400,000 range.
Tax dollars and the time and money investment from those listed above accomplished the following: preservation of a 30-year-old business (Northwest Family Physicians), preservations of high-level profession jobs that would have been lost had Northwest Family Physicians moved into a different community, opportunity to bring increased medical jobs to Crystal as the clinic expands and the continued convenience to local citizens because the clinic remains open and provides additional services.
In five years, the citizens of Crystal will see money returned to them through paid property taxes. At that point, the increased tax base for improved property will continue to pay off and citizens continue to benefit from the continuation of services.
In other words, when (or should I say if) this “investment” come to fruition, the city intends to spend the money rather than give the money back to the people who “invested” in the project. This is nothing more than a tactic to increase spending.
And what if this business fails? Do we bail them out?
There is another reason for the project. It fulfills Area #3 of their comprehensive plan. Here are the details to area #3;
Area #3 – Lakeland Avenue from 56th to 58th. This area is identified as a potential redevelopment area in the current Comprehensive Plan. Existing uses are mostly commercial including the former Crystal-Pierz Marine. There will be impacts from the Bottineau Boulevard reconstruction project due to elimination of the existing frontage road and construction of a new “backage” road which will form the approximate border between non-residential uses along Bottineau Boulevard and the residential uses to the east. The right-in and right-out access to Bottineau Boulevard at 58th Avenue / Airport Road will remain but it will be reconfigured to improve safety and traffic flow. This area would not be quite as isolated as Area #1, and therefore it might also be able to accommodate some destination retail or office uses.
Thank you all for bringing closure to this very successful project.
ReNae Bowman is the mayor for the city of Crystal.
People need to realize how critical this issue is. We all know how our “investments” in Solyndra, General Motors, and the big banks have turned out. But this crony capitalism is happening here at the city level too.
If we “invest” in one business, how many do we invest in? What is our criteria for giving away taxpayer dollars for a private business? Why do we give money to one and not another? Where does it stop? What are the limits on government?
Hey Mayor Bowman, I’d like to start a business in Crystal! Can I have some seed money????
Read more here;