Circling the Hub
Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden is starting a new tax/bond initiative. Communities surrounding Baton Rouge (BR) should consider it as the retail hub it’s become for all of us. The Capitol City has always been the "go-to" place. You "go-to" BR to shop at a mall. You “go-to” BR to attend a live theater performance. You “go to” BR for LSU/SU Football games, etc. Mr. Holden’s drive for tax increases, especially Sales Tax increases, might cause developers to reconsider more Regional Mall Complexes; more centers designed toward accommodating the Arts outside of BR, more consumer-oriented buying centers on the rim of the spokes leading away from BR.
Competition brings an influx of NEW ideas; ideas Mr. Holden seems bereft of beyond "tax it because I said so". Holden's inefficient spending practices (as displayed in his call to improve infrastructure with exorbitant add-ons) fool nobody.
I for one will advise friends to check out Tanger and such outlets while looking for more resources other than BR, to spend my money and thus my taxes. The idea can work. Look at the change brought about with the demise of Bon Marche' and Cortana's shift in available doors to pass through to spend. I don’t want to see Baton Rouge suffer. But, the Mayor doesn’t seem to understand, or care, which hammers deliver his city’s economic impact. He should learn to play nicer with the other cities/towns around him.
We appreciate East Baton Rouge’s need for prison expansion to house criminals. The need for better sewage and waste treatment is understandable. We fully comprehend the need for more Police, Fire and Rescue personnel. It’s all apparent. Doesn’t Baton Rouge have buildings standing tenant-less and crying out for habitation. Must everything be newly constructed?
Does each of these necessities require a NEW command center? Does each command center require all the ancillaries? Must your name appear on every plaque erected on every building conceived before you leave office Mr. Holden? Is your ego that expanded; or are you so insecure you must bleed everybody around you to assure your place in history is immortalized in brass or bronze?
The world is a dynamic entity. We’re all in this together. What you do affects me as well as others. What I do affects you and others. Nothing moves without causing an effect on something else.
What occurs in Baton Rouge travels across the bridges to West Baton Rouge. It then motors west on I-10 and HWY 190 toward Lafayette and New Roads and beyond. It moves south on LA Hwy 1 to Plaquemine and then to White Castle, Donaldsonville and other locales considering Baton Rouge as the hub for extended options in wholesale and retail sales.
But, where we buy is based on what’s best for us. Where we buy is based on the best deal we can get for us; not a group of politicians goaded into raising the cost of doing business so a mayor with a personal agenda can be remembered.
Our collective destinies are a matter of perception. Progress is defined as movement. It doesn’t necessarily say whether it’s good or bad; it merely means you’re moving. Now is that toward the betterment of all connected or only those at the hub?
It’s a point of conjecture to ask: must you have everything at once – as a windfall? Or is it better to start more slowly, pay for the improvements you need and make now (in smaller chunks) and come back later to get more, after the bill has been paid down?
The cyclical governmental process of tax and spend; spend and tax is becoming abrasive for people in Baton Rouge and beyond. The increasing weight of taxation is causing a steadily increasing chafe from the yoke of governmental demands for more goodies. Tax and spend: spend and tax: government’s mantra. Hasn’t government ever heard of re-use, conserve, recycle? The oxen in all the fields are slowly being worked to death.
Keep chasing your dream Mr. Holden. But, remember as you chase after it, you chase us on the rim of the hub; away. Break that wheel and your fields will grow fallow with time.
Thanks for listening