'Old' Gainesville was better

Published: Saturday, January 18, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 18, 2003 at 1:39 a.m.

David Flagg (Jan. 12) supports the building of the downtown high rises. Flagg writes, "Gainesville cannot always remain the same ..." Why not?

I liked the old Gainesville - with fewer traffic jams, fewer shopping malls and less air pollution - much better than the present city. The proposed high rises certainly will exacerbate these problems many fold. After the high rises have been built, will Flagg go to Cedar Key and tell its people that "Cedar Key cannot always remain the same"?

Flagg writes, "new people cause ... a demand for increased government services on a limited tax-revenue base." Growth promoters always cite the need for an increased "tax-revenue base." But growth has been going on for decades, without the promised benefits ever coming to pass.

The Gainesville Sun runs stories about revenue shortfalls, reduced services and the need for additional taxes almost on a daily basis, after decades of tremendous growth. Impact fees are, of course, the only logical and fair solution but are not likely to ever be implemented.

Flagg writes, "If the builders are in compliance with zoning and permitting, there's little the city can legally do to stop the project ..." He is probably right.

However, the proposed high rises are such a drastic change for the city that one would have expected an extensive public debate, followed by some kind of citywide vote on whether the residents like the project (allowing it to proceed in some form) or do not like it (thereby killing it). Instead, Flagg suggests "an attitude of cooperation."

Yep, hold your tongues and let them who know better than you do what they want with your tax money and your city.

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