- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
DAG: Economics has nothing to do with Market East casino
From the logic of Design Advocacy group president William Becker:
Whether or not you believe gambling is addictive, exploitative and immoral, or whether it is or isn't the financial engine that will shower desperately needed tax revenue onto our cash-strapped city, are questions that have nothing to do with location, and won't be addressed here.
Sheesh, who knew planners could dismiss their APA planning credentials so quickly? Maybe Mr. Becker forgot this part of the APA oath:
The planning process exists to serve the public interest. While the public interest is a question of continuous debate, both in its general principles and in its case-by-case applications, it requires a conscientiously held view of the policies and actions that best serve the entire community.
Planning issues commonly involve a conflict of values and, often, there are large private interests at stake. These accentuate the necessity for the highest standards of fairness and honesty among all participants.
Those who practice planning need to adhere to a special set of ethical requirements that must guide all who aspire to professionalism.
But this is the best part of Mr. Becker's op-ed because until reading this I had never before heard reference to slots joints as "palaces":
Can the slots palace spur the growth of an entertainment district along Market East that could become the one place in the city where we might relax our otherwise appropriate vigilance about signage and honky-tonk to foster the growth of our own Times Square or Bourbon Street?
We don't have one of those. Perhaps we should.
I'm obviously not honky-tonk enough (though for the record I am from Ohio), but I would think that a City that got upset over Greek Picnic weekend really couldn't stomach Bourbon Street or Times Square every single day.
Back in September, before the ink had dried on the press announcement, DAG was all too eager to voice its support for the Market East location. Its strategically publicized letter to the Mayor was held up by administration officials as proof of public endorsement.
Since then, a number of DAG members have voiced concerns for a more thoughtful and engaged process, and in fact, even sent a letter in November urging City Council to delay its vote on rezoning until more studies and a defined engagement process were outlined. So this is not to say that DAG's membership is represented in Mr. Becker's neon and honky-tonk vision for the city.
Nevertheless, as the Planning Commission gets set to unveil its preliminary findings for a Market East casino (or rather an invisible casino since they don't want to talk about the casino), it's interesting how different players are lining up around an idea - even when there are no ideas behind it.