By Chris Story
Don’t you just love trendy terms like “Smart Growth?” I mean growth is good right?
Who can oppose growth? When you care for your garden it what? It grows. When you feed your children nourishing meals they? Right again, they grow. Growth is good, and smart growth is even better.
In fact, I’m growing. In recent weeks I have come to realize that my previous point of view was all wrong. So as of today, I’m committed to smart growth. By definition, that means gains and growth with other people’s money regardless of market indicators and common sense.
It is so tiring to measure the market, gauge the return on investment and worry about cash flows. Yup, as of this moment, I’m throwing in the towel.
Never again will you hear me cite increased costs of maintenance, utilities or depreciation funding. I’m incredibly sorry that I’ve pointed out that the four brand new bathrooms are costing over $1,000 per month in electricity, alone. That is a very wise use of the public treasury, if only I had seen that logic sooner.
Now I agree that it was totally Ken Halpin’s fault for letting his home flood with sewer, and it would have been not smart growth (dumb growth) to repair the faulty manhole prior to its catastrophic failure.
Remember how I said that according to the budget, the city manager was costing us $260,000 a year? Then I went on to say, with his mis-management, I wonder what the real cost is? Turns out I was so far off base, I’m embarrassed to admit it. In fact, to set the record straight, I called the city manager to confirm what the manager’s salary and benefit package are. He would not return the call, but did have one of his employees email me with an invitation.
I was invited to purchase that information through a public records request. Wow, was I wrong; the city manager’s salary package is only $180,000.
Welcome to a new age of Smart Growth; gone are the days of careful spending and living within my means. It’s liberating!
Chris Story is a lifelong Alaskan, and broker and owner of Story Real Estate. He is also host of “Alaska Matters Radio,” heard Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. on KPEN.
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