Newark Selfie

The New Year serves up not only cabbage and pork but also reheated leftovers in the form of government self-reflection. One such deep dish helping comes from Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb with a guest column in the 1-11-15 Newark Advocate. This follows the more formal fare of Newark Mayor Jeff Hall’s Address to the City Council (as reported by Joe Williams for the Newark Advocate 1-6-15). One would think that the two would be roughly parallel if not at least complimentary, given that Newark is the county’s largest concentration of people. One would be wrong. For the most part the two assessments are quite dissimilar. Commissioner Bubb’s offering features a generous portion of Grow Licking County for whom he cooks, er, he is on the board. His recommendation is a full plate of commercial offerings, primarily western and southwestern style. “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” are the repeated staple. The Mayor serves up the same old hash but now highlighting a name change. As a requisite liability disclaimer, he rues his franchise’s legislated income erasure from the city menu. To alleviate heartburn, both cooks promote a healthy dose of the new and improved security service. Ask for it under the MARCS logo. Though not a product of either’s individual kitchen, both chef’s offer the projected Canal Market District as 100% local. In fact, the independently funded and outside originated dream whip is the one and only unaccomplished accomplishment within Licking County’s population center receiving rave reviews from both leaders simultaneously.

Who benefits?

Analysis recommends beginning with the heartburn alleviation. MARCS (along with the LC Regional Communications Center) makes it easier to deploy police from any jurisdiction with lightning speed, a veritable blitzkrieg of efficiency. This is timely relief, coming none too soon given the upcoming people’s exercise of democracy in 2016. Of course, the prime beneficiaries of corporate industries, such as Ascena, Bocchi Labs, etc. are the owners and corporate executives themselves (both US and foreign) who ultimately profit from the plethora of locals primed and conditioned for precarious employment, the custom made and cost free infrastructure catering, property and income tax breaks, abatements, credits, etc. Even the Advocate’s connoisseur editorial board recommends such a diet mainstay though their palate is partial to a Thornwood Drive expenditure to accompany the main course of Cherry Valley Interchange. Analysis yields the Canal Market District special, featured by both leaders, as somewhat indigestible. Its benefit defies even continuous regurgitation. Could it be simply for the trophy case or museum of great ideas? Not. “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”? Not. Housing development? Not. Feeding the 20% of children who are chronically undernourished? Not. Providing overflow for the dynamic downtown commercial center? Not. A future financial district? Not. Increased tax revenue for Newark? Not (unless there is a charge for use of the heirloom parking garage, originally phase one of this epic recipe). Analysis shows places like London (England), Las Vegas (Nevada), etc. have constructed giant Ferris wheels that function as landmark attractions, magnets announcing the city center as a “destination.” Analysis speculates this might be more compatible with the “Je ne sais quoi” ambience that the pre-existing giant basket office building on the edge of town exudes. Along with Commissioner Bubb and Mayor Hall, those on board could look down on the greater population of Newark, maybe even take a selfie with the city’s people in the background!

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