Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday May 30 Trying to put the fix in

I am on a local historical board. We give awards to homeowners and businesses that do a good job with exterior renovations and we approve small building projects for buildings with historic designations. We deal with little things: porches, windows. Little inconsequential things that make a difference to the historic nature of an old house but don't matter a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

Somehow, we have gotten stuck with an enormous development project involving several old institutional buildings. This is a hot-button topic in town and there are people who are very unhappy with the proposed project.

I have no interest in helping decide what happens on this project. None. I have never wanted to be involved in something where people are ticked off, at least when it's not something I care about a whole lot one way or another.

But here we are. We're stuck on it. The developer has made a preliminary presentation to us, a presentation that included the proposal that rather than develop four of the five buildings, they knock them down. That proposal did not go over well with the public. Lots of angry comment, even angrier comments on the story that was in the paper the next day.

We have another meeting next week where, we hope, the developer will present us with a better plan, although given the finances of renovating these buildings, it's pretty unlikely that they'll have anything better than the knock them down plan.

Today, I got an email from one of the head honchos at the developer: He and the owner of the company want to meet with me before next week.

I smell a rat.

I went upstairs and told Primo about it.

Primo: See, that's a perfect example of Stripes political corruption.

Me: What? How is this a partisan issue? I just see it as the developer wanting to get his way and hoping he can convince me before the meeting.

Primo: It's Stripes. It's typical.

Me: You're so wrong.

I went back downstairs and googled the name of the developer and "political contributions."

Guess what showed up?

Contributions made to the most Polka Dot of the Polka Dots!

I ran back upstairs, triumphant.

Me: He gave money to Joe Blow and Jim Suck of the Polka Dots! Now do you think it's partisan?

Primo: Well. Maybe not.

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