Thursday, October 23, 2014

OOPS - wrong blog

balderdash contacted me and asked if I was still alive and I said . . . I THINK so - but then I looked and I posted this on a dead blog by accident.  No wonder people were still talking to me!!

Anyway - it's in the past but . . . . WHY NOT REPOST IT!!!
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I spent an amount of time this past week (last week) shielding myself from an  attack from a Facebook page called Columbus Speaks who was pretty much like Columbus Underground (worse actually) and Truth in Columbus Politics combined.

The problem was that since the creator of the page had a hidden agenda and refused to tell anybody who she or he was there was no trust and I refused to answer questions on that page.

However the big complaint (among many) were about Enerpac and how we should have let Enerpac move to Sun Prairie instead of giving the 1.5 billion dollar a year company a sweet deal to stay in Columbus.

I think my views on this situation are different then some other council members.

First of all I don't blame Curt Hanson for getting a great deal, this would be like saying"oh, I don't need THAT big of a raise, you can pay me less".  And I don't blame Enerpac as they are a world class company that can do whatever they freaking want.  If ANYONE is to blame on anything it's the previous administration.

But blame?  Was this really a bad deal?

If Enerpac would have left Columbus would it really be a bad thing or should we said don't let the door slam behind you?

The average property tax in Columbus is $3,620,  If there are 100 Columbus residents that have those high paying jobs which Enerpac offers and they moved away from Columbus the city would lose $362,000 a year in property taxes.  Enerpac has been in Columbus for 58 years and if they would have stayed for another 58 years that is 21 million dollars in lost property tax alone.

The average rent in Columbus is $632 a month.  If all those employees rented that is $758,400 a year in lost rent to landlords or 43 million dollars in lost rent for 58 years.

I'm not saying all those employees would move but you get my point.

And this does not count the high pay income these residents bring to Columbus, the millions in bank deposits, the hundreds of thousands in retail sales they bring over the lifetime and lets not forget utility sales, water, and electricity and so forth which are all for-profit organizations in Columbus. More water and electric sales mean it's cheaper it is for residents.

The sweetheart deal Enerpac got HURTS right now - no doubt about that.  But are we only concerned about the short run? It seems so.  This isn't like letting a low pay grocery store slip through our fingers.  Enerpac is the kind of company Columbus wants and needs they held all the cards.  We let them go and we lose ten's of millions over their lifetime.

So you can get mad at me all you want but I feel the long run is more important and while I am also a little pissed off at the current pain and secrecy of the past administration, it's in the past, nothing anybody can do about it. Let's look at the future.    

And we all know that if everybody agreed with everybody else, Facebook would be a pretty boring place.
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I had a wonderful opportunity last night to attend a special Columbus Library meeting at the High School and could listen incognito to a combination of our Hispanic community and other residents of Columbus talk about Columbus and it's problems.  NOT what I expected to hear at all.

Besides the normal complaints about the heavy handed Police Department hurting Columbus (they REALLY have a community likability problem) were concerns with a communication gap.

The lack of or the need for more English courses (more and longer) in our schools, the lack of knowing about what is going on in Columbus because of a language barrier. They have no clue when there kids can join soccer leagues or anything that happens in town (the meeting had an interpreter).

The group was concerned about business downtown and they REALLY wanted more bike paths. Oddly in the 30 things wrong with Columbus, roads were never mentioned.  Things that were brought up were the same concerns I have, more things for youth, more multi-generational activities (perhaps a community center?) a plaza where people can hangout downtown and mingle (something the whole world does but not America) a brand for Columbus (who are we ???  Discover Columbus - Celebrating Small Town America).

It was great listening to people talk so casually.

I do not believe people fully understand how our Library is becoming more and more of a bonus to Columbus with it's many many programs.  The Columbus Library is becoming something of a big deal across America and I'm sending images today about Columbus that will be on the American Library Association website (3 million views per year), print media and newspapers around the country . . . . somewhere.

The Columbus Library is not just a room of books.
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My friend in Madison, Elwood, is the caretaker for a few condo's and he had me take some images of one of his building last weekend that he is pretty proud of.  He is looking into becoming a Master Gardner but I believe he is already - just not certified. Sort of like a Rainman master gardener without the official badge.

Drives me NUTS sometimes.

 
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On the Dan Patrick Show they offered special "Aaron Rodgers says R E L A X" tee-shirts.  They had 300.  In 24 hours they have orders of over 900 now.

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And this is awesome.   I flipped past this 4 minute video six times before I decided to watch it and OMG - this is a MUST watch and is amazing.

What incredible things happen when you reintroduce wolves into Yellowstone not only with species but with the actual physical nature of Yellowstone - AMAZING!!    

http://youtu.be/ysa5OBhXz-Q