Thursday, October 29, 2009

Saving $300,000

The City of Mesa is taking another shot at a vision for downtown, this time with a $300,000 stimulus grant. Free money, right? Well, eventually, the taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill for this stimulus spree, so maybe this would be a good first place to start saving some of it.

In our attempt to save Mesa $300,000, here is our best guess of what will come out of the study:

- Create a sense of "place" using distinctive landscaping features, pedestrian friendly walkways, and interesting design and architecture.

- Integrate transit into the planning, encouraging different kinds of businesses, shops, and residential to create a mixture of people living and shopping in the area.

- Attract a regional employer or university to locate downtown in the vicinity of the light rail creating a destination for students and workers.

- Focus on the local attractions such as the Temple and the Mesa Art Center and attract like minded opportunities to their area to create a richer experience.

- Encourage the integration of historic neighborhoods with new, interesting architectural designs to embrace the area's history while looking ahead to its thriving future.

- Give the area a name and a theme that capture the spirit and essense of the area.

- Place residential and office above retail locations to create not only a shopping destination, but an interesting place to live and work.

Any of these sound familiar? We understand that there should be a plan in place for what to do when the light rail comes, we just wonder how these planners make so much money by basically saying the same thing over and over. Mesa would also do well to talk about how this is not coming out of general fund dollars, because taxpayers aren't all that interested in a downtown plan, when the city has already had to cut millions from their current budget.


Kevin Creighton said...

You forgot,

"Continue to live in denial that Mesa is in fact in the SouthWest United States close to Mexico and does in fact have a large Latino population who are proud of their heritage. Instead, we'll keep building projects more suited to Waukegan or Kenosha because the snowbirds like it so much."

I'm not asking for a 100 foot tall statue of Cesar Chavez or moving the national HQ of La Raza to downtown Mesa, but maybe it'd be nice to have something that actually reflects the history and environment of where we live and not try to re-create Wisconsin at Center and Main

Heath Reed said...

Why stop there? Tell us what you think they should do? Maybe you don’t fully understand what goes into the process because you named off all of these clichés that are of the norm for downtown.

Mesa Issues said...

Heath, it is about time for you to stop assuming what people do and don't "fully understand."

Heath Reed said...

Are you taking this personal? Im not, and do not mind if we disagree on subjects. What Im reading from you post is that you think this is going to be another waste of money. Im not sure if you know how the planning process works, maybe you do. But the question is, what do you think the area needs, or should refocus instead of doing the cliché things like you named off? I’m really interested in what you think here.