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Improvement district is about control

Mr. Valentine’s Other Voices (April 9) regarding Nevada City’s proposed “Business Improvement District” suggested that BID’s purpose was to revitalize downtown and, “acquaint local people with the advantages of shopping locally.” Perhaps, he doesn’t recall a time when Nevada City had a hardware store, drug store, barber shop, shoe store, gas station, and a variety of other businesses providing real goods and services to residents. A time before Nevada City adopted tourism as its primary focus. Locals don’t avoid shopping on Broad Street out of ignorance; they avoid it because – aside from the lone surviving market – it no longer has anything tangible to offer.

He also mentioned control; control of appearance, control of surroundings, the real point of BID’s tax scheme. He believes that those who oppose BID suffer from, “an unclear vision of where our city is headed and what residents want from our city.” Since a tourist town, by definition, is not designed for locals, what residents might want is of little consequence. The City Council, Planning Commission and Historical District regulations provide more than enough control, but apparently those same few who cannot get enough of it want still more.

Mike McGowen



Nevada City


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