There’s the elitist Mike Fitzgerald that we all know and love

Sometime last year (around election time to be specific) Fitzy recognized that his blatant fellating of downtown redevelopment had caused a rift between him and the average Stocktonian. Most Stocktonians are disenfranchised with the redevelopment that Fitz has been unabashedly supporting so he went about rehabbing his image. He positioned himself as a champion of the working man by calling out city employees for having paychecks larger than that of the average Stockton resident (ignoring the size of, say, his own paycheck) and for the sweetness of their retirement packages (not to mention his attack on the lifegiver). He even finally admitted that the previous councils who got us into this redeveloped mess were “reckless”, 2 years after he compared those same councils favorably to a smash mouth football team. Of course he couldn’t completely remove himself from downtown campaigning and tried to bring Paragary’s along for the ride with hilarious results.

Well, after all that work we seem to have come full circle. Now the reason downtown redevelopment is lagging is because we’re bitter, resentful dicks who can’t possibly understand something as complicated as subsidies! If we only gave Paragary’s a shot we’d realize that it’s not that bad of a place (we did, and it is that bad of a place) and that the city had to let them stay there rent free after we took care of building renovations for them. Shit’s too expensive downtown! But apparently not too expensive that we can’t afford to give away land to a big hotel chain for $1.

Of course, Fitzy’s also ignoring the real knock against Paragary’s that has nothing to do with government subsidies. Their food tastes like shit. They could be paying the city $100,000 a day in rent and it wouldn’t change the fact that you have to pay $10 for a burger that tastes like it was flame broiled in my taint.

And in the end, that’s why redevelopment is stalled. It has little to do with the subsidy holdouts because, as Fitzy notes in the comments of his blog post, pretty much anywhere in Stockton has private businesses that benefited from government subsidies (he fails to deny that he basically called us all retards though). The reason downtown is such a “lightening rod for resentment” is because they subsidized the wrong businesses. They subsidized a stuffy restaurant with expensive, bland-tasting food. They sold land that apparently is so expensive it needs to be subsidized for a dollar and then still gave the Sheraton a subsidy on top of all that. The result? An expensive hotel that hosts parties for the city’s rich movers and shakers. It has nothing to do with the subsidies and everything to do with what they went towards, a giant playground for the wealthy in a town where the average resident is decidedly not wealthy.

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~ by Slick Diaz on March 12, 2009.

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