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Arch City Chronicle Misses Mark on McDonald’s & Recall

Most of you are probably familiar with the Arch City Chronicle — both the on again/off again print edition as well as the online blog. While the McDonald’s issue has been going on for several months now the print edition of the ACC has remained quiet on the issue until this past edition. Let’s take a look at their coverage from “The Inside Dirt” section:

The 15th ward recall might usurp the 4th district as the most fascinating political play this year. Jennifer Florida, who supported the stadium deal, fought charter reform, and made cozy in Slay’s camp; was unopposed last year for reelection. Now she’s the subject of a recall because a McDonald’s wants to move across the street?

Oh I get it, a clever way of saying the McDonald’s isn’t such a big deal relative to all her other wrong-doings. Perhaps. But this shows a complete lack of understanding about what motivates individuals: proximity to their home. Did the stadium deal or charter reform threaten resident’s homes with trash and noise from an adjacent drive-thru? No.

And it is not as simple as Editor Drebes (and Ald. Florida) make it out to be — just moving across the street. This shows Drebes has formed an opinion without looking into the issue of the financing behind the site (Federal funds used to acquire & raze old Sears) as well as the quality of life issues that would come from having a drive-thru on your side of a major street rather than the other. It should be noted the Drebes family lives just a block off Grand South Grand with all the various restaurants and shops and a decidedly different feel than the area in question. Location, location, location.

What’s surprising isn’t that it’s a bloody McDonald’s that’s moving the electorate. What’s funny is that the “recallers” apparently haven’t thought much about the future. First, it’s unlikely they’ll get the signatures. In order to so so, they’ll have to improve on their timid approach we witnessed in the park last weekend.

Oh, the discredit approach. Good one, Dave. Let’s observe a fraction of the first two hours of the recall effort and draw conclusions about the outcome of something which arguably takes a couple of months at best. I saw the folks collecting signatures in the park doing really well approaching people — perhaps too well. They were soon asked by Park Rangers to move toward the traffic circle where efforts proved more challenging.

Second, if they get the sigs, Florida has an open and thriving ward organization. Something progressives applaud. It has members. That is to say, she has a base to beat back a recall (Not to mention her $21,000 war-chest.)

Part of the ACC mission is to be, “challenging to the status quo.” Uh, is that going to start anytime soon? Sounds more like trumpeting the status quo to me. First we have the scare mongering technique to squash any potential rebellion by saying an incumbent has a whole ward organization and second a big pile of cash. What the ACC is really saying is this is St. Louis where ward politics reign supreme and money talks so even though we talk about challenging the status quo we really don’t mean it.

If blogger Steve Patterson couldn’t out-door-knock Kirner in his aldermanic race, it’s unlikely he can out-work the spunky Florida.

This sentence seems added later, just as a quick jab at me. It doesn’t really relate to the rest of the piece. Funny, a year ago Dave Drebes said it was the work of Lou Hamilton and the $14K+ that Kirner paid him that was why I was defeated in my race. Still, I managed to get more votes in the two precincts on my side of Grand with only two months from the date I entered the race to election day.

Florida is trying to paint me as the person behind the recall and the ACC doesn’t seem willing to examine that assumption. The truth is I don’t have the time to recall every alderman that makes bad development decisions — can you imagine the coordination required to run 28 recalls? Clearly I am a supporter of the recall and I am in communications with those that are but I have no intention of going door-to-door collecting signatures. It is their baby which may or may not succeed. My focus remains on the planning issues behind the McDonald’s issue on Grand.

Third, suppose they win a recall, the Democratic nominee would be chosen by the committeepersons — hardly the people that the recallers would consider a positive improvement from Florida. Greg Thomas is going to vote in favor of a civilian review board? “Not bloody likely.”

In other words, the alderperson whom you disagree with on moving a McDonald’s across the street will be better on 90% of your issues than the one that you get when you recall her.

Wow, more of that challenging to the status quo writing! The 15th ward has two committees. Florida’s committee though “thriving” apparently failed to have any candidates for committeeman or committeewoman. As such, the old guard committee would determine the Democratic nominee. The ACC is presuming committeeman Greg Thomas would nominate himself (certainly a possibility). I just adore the argument that we are better off with what we have because any replacement would be worse. Was that a jab at William Waterhouse in the 24th, the former committeeman that replaced recalled Tom Bauer?

The problem here is the ACC is promoting the idea that citizens should not be engaged in the process, that an incumbent with money cannot be beat so why even bother. This is not progressive thinking. This is what the status quo wants people to believe so they can go about their business and stay in office for 20+ years with seldom being challenged.

I’ve been disappointed the ACC hasn’t taken a closer look at the various issues of planning, zoning, aldermanic courtesy, funding sources, redevelopment plans and such all at work in this complex issue. You’d certainly think a paper with a mission to challenge the status quo would do so. But maybe not.

Ald. Florida is a regular advertiser in a paper that has struggled to stay afloat. Last year it got new investors but we don’t really know who they are. We do know advertisers include status quo PR folks Richard Callow & Lou Hamilton. Then we have Pyramid Construction, the developer behind all this. Not only are they big advertisers in the ACC they are also their landlord. Yes, the ACC leases office space from Pyramid.

The ACC is not about challenging the status quo but simply another voice for the status quo (besides the St. Louis Business Journal that Dave Drebes also writes for).

UPDATE 5/31/06 @ 5pm – At the suggestion of Thomas Crone, Dave Drebes and I are meeting tomorrow morning to “hash out” our perspectives in a civil face-to-face meeting.

– Steve


Currently there are "36 comments" on this Article:

  1. arch city sadness says:

    This sneering coverage is another signal that the ACC has been co-opted by those it covers, and that’s a shame. It’s an occupational hazard in St. Louis, but we all hoped for more from DD and co.

    Another clue, but not the first, was the double-page photo spread of the mayor’s ball last year, with the editor appearing rather chummily with his subjects. It would seem that being one of the guys has skewed the ACC perspective.

  2. Will Winter says:

    What? You can challenge the conclusions made by the un-named writer of the Inside Dirt but what does the residence of the Drebes family have to with it? Do you have proof that investment in the ACC is skewing coverage or the lack of coverage on issues as opposed to a lack of resources to pay writers? My impression is that the ACC, and Dave, have always been somewhat skeptical of a “charge the barricade” approach to local politics. Anonymous Arch City Sadness notes that Drebes attends local parties–something he has been doing for years–but forgets to mention the Business Journal column where he slams his aldermanic hosts for meaningless aldermanic courtesies. Perhaps what you disagree with, Steve, is the assessment that the McDonald’s issue–despite the passion it is creating among a small set of southside residents–is not particularly important.

    Will Winter

  3. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is missing the mark by continuing to deflect blame from Pyramid by focusing on Ald. Florida. She’s not in the driver’s seat, and concentrating on her may get an alderman unseated but it won’t do anything to keep developers like Pyramid from proposing bad designs like this in the future.

  4. Third party says:

    Steve, this post makes you sound unhinged, and I say this as a fan of your efforts. You need to turn down the rhetoric and Nixonion paranoia and get some perspective. Maybe the McDonalds shenanagins were a tipping point for you, but there are a lot of people out there who are going to take a look at the issue and come to the same conclusion as the unnamed author of Inside Dirt. The less emotionally charged on this subject, the better you’ll be at explaining the issue to the average voter in a way that doesn’t make you sound like a nut. And that’s exactly how you’re coming off here.

  5. Bill M says:

    As a regular and often enthusiastic reader of your blog, I think you have definitely gone too far in this latest post by suggesting that Dave Drebes has swayed the editorial content of the ACC to appease Pyramid and Florida for the financial interest of the ACC. As Winter said, where is the proof of that? The insinuation that the tenuous financial situation of the paper is proof of this assertion is a low blow to a paper and editor who has done much more good than bad for the city.

  6. Meredith says:

    Hi Steve!

    This morning you were mentioned on “The Steve & DC” show. They had the guest editor and food editor from St. Louis Magazine, and they mentioned that they had a feature for next month’s issue on the McDonald’s on South grand.

    I didn’t listen to the whole thing (it was right before 9 and I had to step into work) but the editor identified you as a leader of “the new urbanism” and Steve (I think, I can’t tell them apart) was like “Why would you oppose moving McDonald’s?) So yeah don’t know the point of the segment but thought you’d be interested.

  7. Dr. Phil says:

    Dear Steve:

    I read with both amusement and dismay, your most recent posting in which you attacked the Arch City Chronicle and its editor for daring to challenge the logic of your support for the recall of Alderman Jennifer Florida.

    Although I am a regular viewer of your blog, and appreciate the thoughtful analysis you have provided on a number of issues, it is hard not to notice your disturbing tendencies towards megalomania.

    You might be spending too much time smoking your own blend of tobacco.

    Understand, that in the real world, not everybody gets picked to lead a team. In fact, most people never even get picked to play. I am guessing that you fall into the latter category, and have a fair amount of experience in the disappointment of being the kid left on the bench.

    The mark of a real leader is someone who understands his own core values, and appreciates that not every idea he has will be universally embraced. He uses those values to build a base of supporters who are willing to follow him because he is a leader, and he listens to them, not because he is the smartest man on earth.

    You are like a kid who dreams of being a baseball star, and becomes an expert in the game without possessing even a drop of talented blood. Instead of learning to use his encyclopedic knowledge of the game to benefit the team he aspires to join, he spends his time talking about how stupid the athletes are. The predictable result of that personality flaw is that the kid always ends up alone on the bench after everyone else gets picked to play.

    I am guessing that you have spent a fair amount of time on the bench of life, always on the sidelines, jumping up an down, waving your arms for attention, hoping desperately that they call your name to play, and always bitter when it seems the captain looks right past you like you arenÂ’t even there.

    You have done well in providing readers of your blog with insightful and provoking analysis of urban design and development issues, but you undermine your own progress with the sophomoric behavior you exhibit when someone doesnÂ’t agree with your position.

    Pick a team. Trying building just one thing instead of tearing everything else down. You ran for alderman, and lost. Instead of using the experience as a learning tool, you talk about how unfair the ward political system is, that your (implied) brilliant candidacy wasnÂ’t recognized by the voters. I think you missed the point. They like that old lady who represents them, because she does represent THEM. You didnÂ’t give them anything to like.

    You are now an outspoken advocate of recalling another alderman because she doesnÂ’t agree with your position on a particular development, but donÂ’t take into account how many other things she has done to make that ward a better place to live for her constituents. The Arch City Chronicle was right. Think about the rocks at the bottom of the hill before you decide to jump off the cliff.

    My guess is that I have wasted a whole lot of time on this posting, and you either wont have the balls to put it up, or you will unleash another irrational Cain Mutiny-like attack on yet another of your growing number of critics.

    Of course, you could surprise us all with a thoughtful and considerate reply.

    Deal or No Deal? WhatÂ’s in your briefcase?

  8. Patrick Wessel says:

    this post is right on target. the mcdonald’s issue is extremely important. look at any modern urban city and you’ll find mcdonald’s built into old buildings with ZERO parking, besides standard on-street parking. this is a HUGE issue for urban Saint Louis. it seems to me like Steve was attacked (by name) by the Arch City Chronicle and all you anonymous folks are now declaring that he is not allowed to defend himself and his position and that he is taking things too far? we need people like steve patterson who are educated and can inform on urban criticism. if you want to have a suburban mcdonald’s, go to the suburbs. this is a HUGE issue.

  9. Patrick Wessel says:

    Are you kidding me??? I just saw the comment from “Dr. Phil” as I was writing my previous comment. Absolutely ridiculous. Keep posting anonymously, it really boosts your credentials.

  10. I can’t believe the smear campaign against Steve that I’m witnessing not only in the press/ACC, but now on his own blog.

    “My guess is that I have wasted a whole lot of time on this posting, and you either wont have the balls to put it up, or you will unleash another irrational Cain Mutiny-like attack on yet another of your growing number of critics.

    Of course, you could surprise us all with a thoughtful and considerate reply.”

    What?!?! Steve Patterson has never censored this blog as long as I’ve been a reader, nor has he ever responded to a post in a non-considerate manner, even when posters like you attack him directly.

    It’s so easy for all of you posters to lob shells at Steve behind the guise on anonymity.

    This McDonalds is a HUGE issue no matter how much Alderwoman Florida tries to marginalize the topic by saying “It’s only a McDonalds moving across the street”. The problems are that she has lied to constituents, other aldermen, and the masses in general; she ignores good urban planning to seemingly repay Pyramid for their generous campaign donations; and she refuses to do what her constituents ask of her in taking steps to extend the south grand corridor. Steve is not behind this recall. I was on the original distribution list that discussed the recall before it started, and Steve did not initiate this recall. He supports the effort, but all of the leg work is being done by constituents of the 15th ward, and a handful of other concerned STL citizens.

    I refuse to believe that the people of STL can be brainwashed this easily, and I find the tone and anonymity of these “Third Party Criticizers” highly suspicious. I wonder what IP traces on all of those posts would turn up…I bet some interesting things…..

  11. Jack Grone says:

    I hate to see a good debate on urban planning get hijacked by a meaningless pissing match between URSTL and ACC.

    Jack Grone

  12. truth seeker says:

    Say, maybe steve could get a job with pyramid as an urban design consultant, help them see the light???

  13. I have a few thoughts in reply to some of the earlier comments:
    • Editors are responsible for any “un-named” writers. Hiding behind a column without a by-line is weak.
    • I do not have any proof editorial content was swayed by advertisors, landlords or investors. If I had written proof, it would have been published. I don’t think some sinister conversation took place between Drebes, Florida & Steffen but I can see someone deciding to take a certain approach not to ruffle too many feathers.
    • My point about where Drebes lives in that for many people who don’t see the significance is simply because it does not affect them directly. Many, such as Drebes, live adjacent to a very different type of commercial district and perhaps don’t see the differences between the two.
    • The Dr. Phil comment above was pretty funny. Wrong, but funny.
    • I would love for the ACC to have done a real story on the issue and come to a different conclusion. This would have shown some effort and thought. That I would have respected and been able to, on an intellectual level, dissect their argument on the issue.
    • I call things as I see them. The ACC took a cheap & unjustified shot at me and perhaps I should have taken the high road and let it go. I don’t want this to be personal, I want it to be a debate over planning issues that, extracted beyond the McDonald’s issue, has relevance to the entire City of St. Louis.

    You are all free to continue the discussion… – SLP

  14. “Do you have proof that investment in the ACC is skewing coverage or the lack of coverage on issues as opposed to a lack of resources to pay writers?”

    Look at the Pyramid and Florida ads in the ACC. It is human nature to spin news in favor of ones landlord and source of revenue.

    “My guess is that I have wasted a whole lot of time on this posting, and you either wont have the balls to put it up, or you will unleash another irrational Cain Mutiny-like attack on yet another of your growing number of critics.”

    You sound like a raving anti-patterson loon.

    Steve makes several good points in this article.

    Presuppose: “Political Machine” broadly refers to Florida and Pyramid, for the sake of simplicity.

    1. ACC prides itself as the avant-garde challenger of the political machine
    2. On this issue they side with the political machine
    3. A possible reason is that their landlord is connected to the political machine in many ways. The political machine advertises heavily in their paper.

    There is a clear disconnect present in the ACC, as the ACC is supposed to be siding with the little guy, and attacking the machine. In this case, they are doing the opposite. Steve draws his conclusions, and I agree with them. Lets not attack Steve, as his concusions are from empirical evidence.

  15. reader says:

    Patterson writes on urbanism; Drebes writes on politics. Where urbanism and politics intersect, there is possible tension between the two writers. It was only a matter of time before this tension surfaced.

    It’s just unfortunate the tension didn’t surface over the St. Aloysius issue rather than on the over exposed S. Grand area. S. Grand is urban. S. Grand is the poster child of city urban. We get it.

    So, as Steve does through his blog, let’s apply urbanity to other parts of the city. That’s where toes might get stepped on, and the debate over aldermanic courtesy gets interesting. That’s where there’s potential to challenge the status quo.

    Consider the sleepy Southwest Garden neighborhood and the St. Aloysius demolition. St. Al’s was a classic case of aldermanic courtesy leading to the demolition of a rare urban landscape.

    Some people here are saying that moving McDonalds across the street is no big deal. What about the demolition of St. Al’s? Also no big deal?

    The St. Aloysius case provided the ACC a golden opportunity to focus on the issue of aldermanic courtesy in the development of city neighborhoods. We know where Steve Patterson stands on aldermanic courtesy-he opposes it.

    Can anyone say where the Arch City Chronicle stands on the issue of aldermanic courtesy?

  16. Jeff says:

    This is crazy because Steve has certainly posted more controversial and emotional posts than this one, yet this is the one that has caused so many personal attacks. Interesting that all these people just started reading the blog right at the same time there was a post that they all so passionately disagreed with, eh?

  17. Joe Frank says:

    I’m not sure how significant this landlord piece really is. Maybe the ACC is getting cut-rate rent from Pyramid (indeed, the storefront location was the original office for Pyramid)?

    But I can think of plenty of people who dislike their landlords and openly criticize them!

    If they’ve got a long-term lease, it shouldn’t be a problem to criticize Pyramid.

    Now if they’re going month-to-month and with a really low-rent – essentially as a financier of the paper – yeah, Steve might have a point.

    Otherwise, there’s no substantial reason to believe a landlord could have that much impact on the paper’s content.

  18. city beat says:

    The ACC has the same perspectie as most St. Louisans. Even as a southsider, I don’t see how McDonald’s moving across the street into a vacant lot is grounds for a recall. I’ve paid attention to all the details and I still don’t think it’s a big deal. Patterson & Co. have really lost their perpective on this matter.

  19. reader says:

    Yo City Beat,

    Care to take a gander on ACC’s perspective on aldermanic courtesy? That’s what we really want to know. Anyone?

    If the ACC gets comp’d to this year’s Veiled Prophet Ball, well, then we’ll know who the real insider is…

  20. Moving McDonalds=big deal:

    1. Violates City ordinance which bans drive thru’s east side of grand. Passed with aldermanic support, and support of Neighborhood Associations.
    2. Proposed Board Bill modifies ordinance, which alienates citizens, and many are moving away.
    3. 850,000 dollars of tax payer money was used to demolish Sears Site, including State, and Federal Money.
    4. Again, taxpayers are moving out of the city because of this development. The replacement for the 850,000 dollar Sears site should attract more tax payers. Why should tax payers pay 850,000 for demolition, only to welcome an establishment which decreases the tax base?
    5. Imagine Grand South Grand being extended further South. Now imagine how a McDonalds would fit into that shopping and entertainment district. It does not.
    6. Florida asserts that McDonalds raises property values, and lowers crime. The existing McDonalds at Chippewa did not create this stabilizing affect in the past. Citizens do not share this view, which is why they are moving.

    Bottom line: Citizens are angry, as a result they are moving away. Political leaders should work to create population increases, not decreases.

    Florida does not want to give any ground eventhough alternatives have been proposed by many citizens.

    Do not forget the Cobblestones, Cell Phone tower, etc.

    She is not listening. How does this problem reach a remedy?


  21. The Southsider says:

    The real question is, are there going to be bike racks???

  22. Chris says:

    Maybe everyone should take a look back at the editorial in the previous issue (maybe two issues ago) where Dave wrote about the ACC providing a format for many views to be expressed. I’m pretty sure the ACC will let Steve or anybody else write an opposing view.

    The Inside Dirt article/editorial, although containing some faulty logic and some low blows, did raise some legitimate points: Are recall proponents thinking about what happens after Florida is recalled? Is recalling Florida going to lead to a better situation? If the recall petition is to be successful, it will need to be more agressive in its approach.

    Everybody take a deep breath.

  23. dot connector says:

    Maybe the ACC has the same view on aldermanic courtesy as many Southsiders have about the proposed McDonald’s move?

    That’s just the way it is.

  24. “Can anyone say where the Arch City Chronicle stands on the issue of aldermanic courtesy?”

    For one thing, a paper does not necessarily have to stand anywhere on an issue.

    For another, ACC printed an essay that I wrote criticizing the aldermanic intervention in the St. Aloysius Gonzaga matter — so in that sense they took the stance that such criticism should be published and backed it up with actual publication.

  25. samizdat says:

    To DD: The 1996 Telecommunications Act specifically prohibits(!) local gov’t from refusing approval of any proposed cell-phone tower. In other words, Verizon, ATT, et al, can install a tower anywhere their greedy, corrupt politician-kissed asses wish, local objections be damned. This issue has been covered in the National Trusts’ “Preservation” and by publications distributed by environmental organisations. The only thing that Florida could do, under the law, was ask for a tower which was aesthetically less obnoxious than the one proposed. Strangely enough, an installation was considered for the SSNB tower, but was rejected because it would have been TOO TALL! To paraphrase Douglas Adams: “The corporations were the first ones against the wall when the revolution came.”

  26. awb says:

    What bothers me most is the first mention of the McDonalds controversy is in the ACC’s gossip column. No mention is made of the reason for the opposition, except that Steve Patterson is somehow responsible.

    I think if the gossip column is going to make comments on an issue, then the issue should have already been covered in a real article. The way they did it, this is the only exposure to the McDonalds problem from ACC. Is Jerry Berger working for them now? It sure seems like his M.O.

    I am supportive of the Florida recall, although I don’t live in the ward, because bad urban planning affects the entire city and I live in the city.

    I don’t even know what to say about the post from Dr. Phil. Personal attacks against someone you don’t know is immature. Is your age more than your shoe size?

  27. long-time reader, URSTL and ACC says:

    The Jerry Berger analogy is unfortunately apt here, and AWB is correct: the ACC has made itself vulnerable by addressing this issue in this way. The ACC editors shouldn’t hide behind an anonymous columnist. It’s their ink, and they own it.

    Remember: there was a reason that people called the Berger column the “Ethics Free Zone” of the Post.

    It seems SP has hit a nerve. The ACC insiders would rather marginalize the messenger than check their own baggage.

    Writing for the Business Journal doesn’t help DD’s street cred as an independent, either.

  28. Chris Cleeland says:

    My views are split on the two topics.

    With the first, McDonalds, I am opposed. I’d actually be fine if all McDonalds were wiped off the face of the earth, personally, but that’s my own personal taste. But a standard McDonalds architecture (if you can even call it that) will actually be a blight on the proposed site, not an improvement. Curb cuts and the rancid stench of the dumpsters will see to that.

    On the other topic, that of Ald. Florida’s potential recall, I somewhat agree with the ACC, not so much on the “McD’s is the tipping point”, but rather, who will we get in replacement? As a citizen of the ward, I would like to see who the folks behind the recall are suggesting might run for the vacated seat. The old saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire” rings true. Besides, there already IS a prescribed time for voting out politician we don’t like: elections. Those behind the recall might consider whether it would be of more long-term benefit to begin the search and campaign for a strong NEW candidate to run in opposition.

  29. “but rather, who will we get in replacement”

    No one is going to announce publically that they will run, because the recall is not over. Announcing this early could be used as ammo against the recall, thus keeping her in office. Florida could simply attack her replacement, thus getting support for herself.

    I assure you, there will be candiates. If you want to run, then file when the time comes. Plenty of alternatives to Floridas style of representation.

  30. Ian says:

    Doug Duckworth

    Your assertion that citizens are moving out of the area because of the “botched” redevelopment of the Sear’s site is absurd. People have been leaving this city for many years, just look at the population statistics and crime rate and you’ll see for yourself why. The city’s crime rate has risen from roughly 38,000 in 2000 to
    over 45,000 according to the most recent estimate. While at the same time the population has dropped from 396,685 in 1990 to 348K in 2000 and is now hovering just under 340K. It would be much more rational to draw a correlation and subsequantly attempt to prove a causation between crime and people fleeing the city than your supposition that its all Florida and McDonalds.

  31. true believer says:

    And Ian,

    Your statement that people are leaving the city because of crime doesn’t make much sense either.

    The biggest drop in population came before 1990 and was largely based on white flight.

    People are choosing the city today for an urban lifestyle.

    Making the city a more interesting place is one way to attract residents.

    Do you pick a neighborhood for the number of McDonalds or corner coffee houses within a mile of your new address?

    Most new city residents probably choose the latter.

    On the other hand, someone moving to the O’Fallons probably has a different set of priorities.

  32. Ian,
    I’d also your population stats are way off base. The current city population hovers around 353,000 according to the latest US Census.


    That debunks your junk theory on the city’s “Alleged” population decrese. Look up the actual data, and don’t just make up stats to support your claims if you want to be taken seriously.

  33. Just to be clear: The STL city population has increased for the past three years, not decreased.

  34. oakland says:

    No one is going to announce publically that they will run, because the recall is not over. Announcing this early could be used as ammo against the recall, thus keeping her in office. Florida could simply attack her replacement, thus getting support for herself.

    So basically they’re afraid that she might be more effective at getting her message out than they will, and thus she’ll win at a recall?

    Seems like the potential candidates ought to step up to the plate so that people can see what they stand to get instead, rather than staying quiet for their own political gain.

    To quote the original post to this entry, yes, “the argument that we are better off with what we have because any replacement would be worse” is as adorable as a newborn kitten if you merely employ blind idealism in your decision making process.

    However, people deserve to be able to make an informed decision about the ramifications of their choice when a recall ballot is put in front of them.

    I really have no opinion if Florida is recalled, but I do take offense to the way those involved in the recall appear to be keeping voters in the dark in favor of their own vendetta.

  35. mike says:

    I suspect the real issues are this:

    1) The housing development on the east side of grand is such a colossal failure that Pyramid is desperate to attract something–anything–to the site.
    2) Enter McDonalds: Their present site isn’t restaurant-user friendly, and they’re desperate to improve the bottom line and stay in the neighborhood.
    3) Enter Pyramid: They start putting political pressure on various pressure points to garner support for a big McDonald’s move so they can fill up their failed development and put a few more bucks in their pocket when they build the new facility on the present McDonald’s site.
    4) Who ends up losing:

    1a) The neighborhood, because they stand to lose a great alderperson who previously represented her constituents extremely well, but who appears to have been misled by the wrong people on this issue;
    2a) The neighborhood, again. There’s nothing like a McDonald’s in your back yard: blowing paper, empty discarded cups and straws, white paper bags, squashed ketchup bags! What a way to enhance a neighborhood!
    3a) The neighborhood, again. Those who are moving away because they’ve had enough can certainly justify their decision without being guilty of neighborhood flight. God knows most of the residents have put up with the almost unimagineable over the past several years: high crime, deteriorating properties, boarding/rooming housing.

    Now the neighborhood is enjoying a rebirth with the bank building renovation and the redevelopments across the street.

    Let’s don’t screw it up with another fast food restaurant! Please!

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