Saturday, May 25, 2013
I would encourage you to do some research on how big chain businesses affect economic development vs. how small businesses affect it. While we all want to promote commerce and job creation in our respective communities, the idea that adding a McDonald's to Oak Park will have a net job creation effect is a stretch at best. McDonald's doesnt bring a net inflow of money into an area. Companies which are creating things to be sold outside the area, or providing services which keep local money local, are the types of things which create vibrant local economies. The restaurant franchies model does quite the opposite. In fact, McDonald's even used this wonderful statistic, seemingly in their own defense, at the city council meeting: They expect to keep $0.46 of every dollar in the local community.
That means $0.54 leaves. When that process is iterated over thousands, or millions of times, it means that money is consistently leaving the area, faster than it is coming in.
Now adding a restaurant to any area, wont increase the amount of food consumed in that area, unless it is a destination restaurant, creating a highly differentiated product. This franchise may 80 80 part time jobs, but certainly would subtract payroll capacity from food providers in the immediate area. Would the gain equal or surpass the loss? Studies have been done on this subject and ones cited at the city council meeting seem to point to the fact that big chain businesses commonly bring a net loss of jobs to an area. The lost jobsare not the loss of higher paid white collar jobs, had by the folks who may or may not have gentrified the area. They are service industry jobs had by the poor working class who need them most.
P.S. While we clearly dont see eye to eye on this issue, let me say thanks for your public service. I truely believe the most important job anyone can do for our country and economy is to educate the next generation of voters/taxpayers.
Score one point for citizens, helping to keep their politicians accountable when they grant rezoning favors to wealthy landowners. The landowner got his commerical rezone by saying that he would build mixed use. Then he didnt. Then he asked for a drive thru permit next to peoples homes... and got shot down.
Are those drive thru's in Granite bay next to peple's homes? Next to residential neighborhoods? I doubt it. That is almost never allowed.
Actually Steve, plenty of the locals bought their houses years ago, when that site was multiple lots zoned Hospital and Residential. The landowner got a merge and rezone granted by telling the city he would build a Mixed use building in 2002. The city planners granted the rezone, specifically saying in their documented recommendation that it was highly unusual to grant a rezone that caused a loss of urban housing, but that they would agree to it in this case, because the mixed use building would have apartments. So because of the specifics of the project, he was granted the rezone. Then he never built the project. Instead he went and and got a fast food franchise to agree to build on it. So, your assumption that people bought houses on a street with a commercially zoned lot is simply incorrect. The system made a mistake, negatively affecting those neighbors years ago, and that mistake has been somewhat rectified in this case. The special permit that was denied last night was denied with very good reason. There are clear critera in the cities own guidelines, for granting special permits, and this did not meet them. Did immediate neighbors want a McDonalds build right next to them? Of course not. Would you? I doubt it. I agree with you that someone buying a house close to a vacant commercial property may have far less a reason to complain, but that is not the case here.
Following each patient around a grocery store is of course, not feasible. However, being involved in our system of government, and trying to affect the decisions and policies that affect each of those people's dietary decisions is an honorable one. God knows McDonalds is playing in the political system to help their own bottom line, and spending more money than any other restaurant in the United States on advertising, in an attempt to influce the dietary decision making of every individual.
If Dr. Hauser could go home and shop for every one of her patients, she would. But she cant. Unfortunately, McDonalds has a multi-billion dollar annual advertising budget, aimed specifically at doing the opposite. So one, or ten, or even a hundred physicians, cant compete with it by engaging individual patients. They have to get involved in policy and in government decision making.
Proud of you Char. You are my hero.
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