Munson's New Developer Welfare Program

A year or so ago, our silly Mayor made headlines by declaring the area west of downtown as a “ghetto”. Well, he didn’t use that word but he might as well have.
Ok, the area is not one of the crown jewels of our city. But let’s be real. There’s some idiots that drink and smoke and snort (and maybe even shoot up), but you can find people like that anywhere. Despite the Mayor’s rhetoric, it’s as safe as anywhere else. Anybody can walk the area at anytime of the day or night.
But statistically, the area does have more police calls than anywhere else. So the police have done exactly what they’re supposed to do. They’ve beefed up the patrols in that neighborhood, which is something they maybe should have been doing years ago.
Our local media, though, loves to latch onto something they can run with for months and months…and they love this story. Any incident that does happen in that section of town is guaranteed a spot on their telecast, and inevitably includes a reference to the Mayor’s proclamation. In fact, I heard this line repeated just yesterday.
The worst story I’ve seen in regard to this issue occurred when they had that block party a few weeks ago, and included a shot of a neighboring house that shockingly did not participate. Hell, I don’t participate when my neighbor’s get together. And who knows if those folks didn’t at some point walk across the street and have a hot dog or two?
I guess I should have expected that our fearful leader had some plan to line his buddy’s pockets somehow. Why else would he have been babbling about a Sioux Falls ghetto if there wasn’t some opportunity for profit?
I’m just surprised it took so much time for the leeches to come forward. A few weeks ago, Dumb Dave’s former employers at Citibank made an announcement that they have plans to offer our city up to five million bucks in credit to buy up that entire area.
If this plan does come to fruition, look for a few people to make some serious dough at our expense. Obviously, Citibank is not doing this out of the good of their hearts…and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus, it’s good P.R. on their part.
The slumlords who own those rental properties are bound to ask for much more than their property’s worth. Many have already said that’s their plan. Why wouldn’t they? Unfortunately, it’s our taxes that will be used to pay for this land.
It’s the last step of this process that angers me the most. I “guaran-effing-tee” that we’ll see nothing but the usual suspects in the list of people wishing to buy this property back from the city for development. I also guarantee that the total amount of money the city gets back from these people will be far less than what was spent. That’s the way it works with Munson and his pals. Hell, the sales will probably go through before the City Council even has a chance to look at the plans.
There’s one other problem that I have yet to see anybody address. Where will the current residents of this area go? This is a city with a serious lack of affordable housing for low-income families. The problems in this area are caused by a select few; most of the residents are law-abiding people struggling to make ends meet. They don’t have a lot of options. As for those that aren’t law-abiding, isn’t it better to have them in such a well-lit, well-traveled area where the cops can watch them?
It seems to me that the current plan is the smartest plan. Enforce the standards and regulations on rental properties. Beef up the police presence even higher than what we have today. If taxpayer money has to be used, maybe instead of using it to make the rich even richer it could be used to entice businesses other than casinos and payday loan companies. Oh wait, that would benefit too many of the commoners. We can’t have that.


Anonymous said…
perhaps the feds could build low income housing out by prairie green.
SouthDaCola said…
Dumb Dave

Anonymous said…
I have to laugh every time I hear something about the "gangs" in Sioux Falls or the "ghetto" (even if they never actually call it a ghetto).
Anonymous said…
I remember the ghetto, when it was the NW corner of Nite City.

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