Initiatives ignored by mayor, council
Stand, run to your window and yell, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not taking it anymore!”
This line, paraphrased from the movie “Network,” is appropriate in regards to Mayor Brenda Davis and the city council of Washington. After a year and a half of effort by myself and the Washington Business District Authority, our fine city is no closer to getting rid of blight and heading toward economic revitalization. Our city is a rudderless ship being moved on the whims, incompetence and lack of effort of all on city council.
Two initiatives in regards to tax abatement have been with council since July. The mayor and council have had plenty of time to review, ask questions and move our business community toward a brighter future. Instead they chose not to do their job. The mayor and council say their inaction is due to proposed ordinances being the same as existing ones. Neither are the same – the existing abatement under the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act does nothing to fight blight, nor does it boost the tax base or spur new business.
Here are just a few initiatives of mine that would immediately create an environment of economic redevelopment: revamp the planning commission so it directs new policy and recommends appropriate business and residential environments. In lieu of a revamped planning commission, re-hire Joe Thomas as city manager; encourage partnerships between for-profit and nonprofit enterprises; and craft new ordinances based on a win/win philosophy for both businesses and our tax base.
I, and the Washington Business District Authority, have raised this aggressive agenda for two years with the mayor and city council and have been ignored. We need to collectively stand up!