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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let Him Build It

Let Him Build It
Response to Article about Zagaroli Project on Hwy 127n
(Published in the Hickory Daily Record February 2008)

I enjoyed reading your front-page article about Pete Zagaroli’s proposed sprucing up of 127. It shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same. At what point do the bureaucrats around here get it.

Here we are in the midst of a Real Estate Depression, yes drastically falling property values does equal a Real Estate Depression, and we have an entrepreneur willing to take a risk. His proposed development would boost our local economy several different ways and here is this Commission saying, “Nuh–uh-uh, you can’t do that. It might make a few people’s trips take a little longer.”

We’ve already seen this whole argument about Lowe’s. Of course no one said anything about 242 being built 10 years ago. It’s right across the street from the High School. No one tried to stop the complex where Viewmont Apartments used to be. That place juts out into the road, has parking spaces in the street, and blocks sight lines. I also seem to recall reading where Council Lady Jill Patton praised the new bakery being built where Yesterday’s was. I’d love to dig into the rationale behind all of this and see what pops out.

What is with all of this arbitrary picking and choosing of projects that Council people and Commissioners deem worthy or unworthy based upon their collective whims? It is a sham to say that Mr. Zagaroli can’t build his project because it encroaches on neighborhoods and might cause burdensome traffic – it’s a highway for gosh sakes. That false issue could be used as a reason to not allow anything to be built. I hate to tell you, but everything encroaches on neighborhoods in a city.

As a matter of fact, with the way gas prices have risen, most citizens want restaurants and retail stores to integrate into our local communities. I know that I would rather walk or drive a very short distance to dinner or shop, rather than have to drive to the other side of town.

It seems to me that something I thought about a long time ago has come closer and closer to fruition with the passing of time. That is that there are two classes of people in our society, those in the government and those who aren’t. The bureaucrats don’t live in a realistic world. They can decree all of these agendas and when they stifle the economy, they never accept any fault.

Mr. Zagaroli is right. We cannot have a robust economy without these types of projects being allowed to move forward, especially in these times where the economy is at a standstill. I know the bureaucrats are comfortable sitting on their lofty perches, but the rest of us still need to work and more projects equal more jobs, better jobs, more income, and a better economy for Hickory. I just wish that more of the rational people in this community would step forward and start to speak up.

James Thomas Shell

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