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The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him: adam.belz@gazcomm.com

Lyon roars at Miller, torches Westdale idea

Joel Miller is pounding away at the Westdale issue on his blog. Bean polls, he points out, tell us the public wants the county to buy Westdale.

But Miller is running into some opposition from Ruth Lyon, a local government watchdog (she harassed me for weeks during the campaign over Eric Rosenthal’s accounting credentials) with whom I’ve exchanged e-mails but never spoken. She’s a clear thinker and writer, and let’s just say I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.

She left a long comment on Miller’s blog excoriating him for second-guessing other elected officials, which she says is not part of his job description.

She also left a comment on yesterday’s story about the supervisors rejecting Westdale’s offer. The comment is worth reproducing in its entirety here, because it is the best summary of the reasons not to buy Westdale that I have yet seen (the supervisors have not yet made an effective case). Here ’tis:

There are good reasons for the County to consider being a tenant at Westdale and no reasons at all for the County to buy the property.

Consider the following:
1) The building is over thirty years old.
2) The few tenants who are there cannot fund the required maintenance, so the mall continues to deteriorate.
3) The mall is considered outdated. People prefer shopping elsewhere.
4) If a retailer wanted to open a store, there are other malls in the area that are in much better shape.
5) This is the worst economy for retail since the great depression.

Layoffs are increasing and people are cutting back their spending. How exactly will the County fill 500,000 sq ft of retail space?

Given the state of the building and the economy, why would we want our tax dollars to go to such a risky plan? Better to be a tenant for three to five years, and then see what is happening in the market.

Oh, and another thing. This is an $18.5 million dollar decision.

The very smartest thing the Supervisors could do it so hire a consultant.

After all, when you are pursuing an $18.5 million dollar decision, wouldn’t it make sense to spend $20K to get an experts opinion?

Speed isn’t important. Smart is important, and for this decision, a smart person would hire a consultant.

Ruth Lyon

Lyon also occasionally comments on Brent Oleson’s blog.

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Filed under: County Government, , , ,

3 Responses

  1. brent oleson says:

    I cannot find a Ruth Lyon in the voter registration database or in the phonebook. Ruth Lyon is no watchdog, just an apologist for the old way of doing things in county government who apparently wants to be anonymous, unless she wants to correct the record on her or his personhood.

  2. adambelz says:

    Will the real Ruth Lyon please stand up?

  3. […] apologize because I quoted the person’s comments as if someone by that name truly exists. Poor judgment and thoroughness […]

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