Whoop di doo

Monday. Late morning. The place to be was the ground breaking of the new Triple-A, minor league baseball stadium. “Groundbreaking marks a new day,” trumpeted the Reno Gazette-Journal’s editorial team, hurriedly wiping off its collective chin, never having seen a downtown facilities project it couldn’t wrap its lips around and swallow whole.

“For residents, the ballpark is about more than sports, however,” the writers discharged. “It has the potential to be the catalyst that the city has been looking for to kick redevelopment over the top and bring much-needed private investment into downtown” (similar claims were made for the Silver Legacy, bowling stadium, and train trench).

Ew. What residents really care about having a catalyst to “kick redevelopment over the top” by bringing in private investment into downtown? The only reason a local resident would give a damn about private investment downtown is so the city will quit spending our tax money subsidizing the private interests that are already downtown. So, in our wildest dreams, local governments will end special assessment districts and other magical tax tricks that mean our children will get a worse education, our seniors will have fewer police on the streets, and the rest of us pay more in other types of taxes.

Look, we like team sports as well as the next joggers, but if we’re going to break ground for a new day, let’s break some ground on some road improvements that aren’t within spitting distance of One East First St. Want to know why nobody wants to invest downtown? It’s because for the last umpteen years, the Reno City Council has had the roads torn up, particularly in and around downtown. Anyone who is unfamiliar with the roads around here, and who’d have no reason to know about the ineffective “construction watch” on the city of Reno’s website, comes to this town, gets the wine-and-roses treatment from elected officials, and all the while, they get to waste hours doing their business because the roads are closed for construction or special events downtown or because someone might use the road to get to a business near road construction or special events downtown.

Yeah, those years of construction of the train trench, which truly launched a new day in the Reno City Council’s “business dissuasion plan” really set the tone.

And now, since the city of Reno can’t afford to fix its roads (after dumping so much money into facilities and special assessment districts and annexation projects), Reno City Council has agreed to borrow $40 million by selling bonds.

“We’re already seeing the beginnings of the trend, with several new downtown developments announced last week,” some poor editorial writer ejaculated. “Today could mark the beginning of a new day in Reno.”

So, City Council, when exactly does the new day start downtown? Is it after the construction of the bowling stadium (oops, Freudian slip) baseball stadium, after the downtown events center, after the new bus station, after the downtown convention center, after the train trench cap, after the City Hall plaza, after the Truckee bridges are torn down and rebuilt or perhaps the day after the Reno City Council realizes it has diddled away any opportunity for the rest of Reno to be pleasant in it’s preoccupation bending over forward to those who want to build downtown facilities.

You know, we hate to slag too hard on those poor footsoldiers over at the Gazette, but they must have to wash their hands 20 times a day. Aveeno, anyone?