The hosts were gracious, the company good. If Mr. Keating were trying to sell me a car–or a nice little office park–he might have made the sale.
I understand a whole lot better the rationale for embracing another warehouse–not that I buy it, only that I understand now what they (Keating, Hopkins et al) are trying to say. It’s this: if we build a warehouse, other types of business will follow. When you point out that the actual pattern here is that warehouses pretty much have attracted only more warehouses, they counter that we have yet to reach the “critical mass” necessary for more diverse growth. They were not able to prove this hypothesis on the road trip, though; there was a whole lot of comparing of apples and oranges instead.
I also couldn’t put out of my head that Mr. Hopkins, the Econ Development Corp guy is also the I-39 Logistics guy. Doesn’t that mean he sees it as his job to mold DeKalb into a logistics image? How is it not a conflict with the goal of diverse growth, to have your Econ Development guy running a logistics association dedicated to the purpose of building logistics centers? & why on earth have we unquestioningly allowed it? It’s a shame: if Mr. Hopkins didn’t have any ties to the I-39 Logistics Association, I’d be better able to trust that his conclusions were the result of sound analysis.
On the other hand, I was impressed by the questions and the general objectivity of the City Council members who attended. They really seemed to be on the job, & not to have made up their minds yet. Despite the mayor’s comment in the Chronicle that he really didn’t see why this project wouldn’t pass, I truly never perceived that the Business Center was a “done deal.” At one point I believe I caught a glimpse of the immense pressure the aldermen must be feeling, & thought to myself, “I’m glad I’m not in your shoes right now.”