Bait and switch

We taxpayers and residents in Cortez, Mancos, Dolores, and Montezuma County are about to be hoodwinked (wink, wink) into the oldest con game ever put forth by shysters and our local supposed leaders.

Community center? For what and who? First question, who owns the empty old Walmart center? It seems they have already been hoodwinked. Were we the people involved in their getting shafted by Walmart, or are they still paying the former owners a pittance? I hate to see people being taken advantage of, especially in the welfare economy we are in. We are quite short of restaurants in the area, only offering Mexican and Tex-Mex, Oriental, or fast food stops – guts and butts offered by corporations who send their profits out of the area. We do have an excellent local hamburger shop here also serving dinners. I just wish there were someplace he could buy his meat and fish and poultry products locally.

The mysterious estimate as to how large a number will be needed to support this convention center, 700 to 1500 people, was stated in The Journal. Guesswork is not how to start a business. It takes quite a study to get the solid numbers. Without those numbers, it is a stupid venture. Build it and they will come only happens in baseball fantasy.

There are a great number of facts to be gathered. It may be a bait-and-switch lesson we don’t need to get sucked into. I have seen this happen in the many places I have been. The big one pulled on us was the one when things got tight and we invited and gave tax breaks to one of the richest corporations in this country. The killer of small towns. I’ll not mention names but you know who I’m talking about. Watch what you say about large corporations, they have lawyers who are standing by to cut their teeth on small lawsuits.

Their sales pitch is always the same: We will provide jobs. Well, we had business and jobs for our locals here. Where are they now? The jobs are gone and also the businesses. So let’s see. We are going to use a lodgers tax to fund that dream. Nothing ticks me off more in my travels than when you are quoted the cost of a mattress, two sheets and a wornout room to stay in and you present the amount and instead of the original quote they add on a big lodgers tax. Why, when you ask the price of the room, can they say, “Total cost is such-and-such without mentioning the add-on?”

Say those that want the convention center venture and get it off the ground run out of income to support it. Then they will say, we will have to find another source of revenues. Take a wild guess – it will be we the people! Need I say more? Bait and switch is the game. We the people need more information.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.

From Galen Larson.