Urban renewal attorney outlines funding options for Yampa Street improvements

— The 22 downtown stakeholders and elected officials who attended a Monday night meeting about the future funding of Yampa Street improvements had plenty of questions for the experienced attorney who spent an hour charting out three possible ways to pay for the upgrades.

And many in the audience left ready to capitalize on the momentum they sense has been growing on the street throughout the past year.

“What's the next step for us to move this thing forward?” downtown Steamboat Springs developer Mark Scully asked Denver urban renewal attorney Carolynne White near the end of her presentation.

White, who talked about the intricacies and legal ramifications of a business improvement district, an urban renewal authority and a downtown development authority, said stakeholders first need to determine the cost and scope of the improvements they want to fund, and then pick the funding mechanism that would best support them.

White said DDAs, URAs and BIDs have been used to great affect in a diverse set of towns and cities across the state. Her more notable examples included the transformation of Denver's Union Station district and an agricultural town near Fort Collins that pursued a URA to get itself out of a nearby river's floodplain.

White added that almost all of the options on the table to fund Yampa Street and greater downtown improvements would require the support of the Steamboat Springs City Council and discussions with other taxing entities, including Routt County and the Steamboat Springs School District.

Scully, who serves on the steering committee of downtown stakeholders who are planning the revitalization project, said the presentation was an important step in what is likely to be a years-long process.

“We're at a critical juncture where, unfortunately, we'll have to hire a consultant to do the math for how to put this plan into action,” he said.

In addition to downtown stakeholders, Monday's meeting was attended by two Steamboat City Council members and members of the city's planning staff.

Planning Director Tyler Gibbs, who invited White to Steamboat to continue the dialogue about improving the downtown area, said he was excited about the opportunities on Yampa Street.

“Everything is poised for great things on Yampa, but there are some fundamental things that have to be fixed before we realize these plans,” Gibbs said.

He said the street is in need of basic infrastructure improvements like lighting, storm drains and sidewalks, and the city's investment in those items is likely to spur more private development.

Scully said that in addition to work being pursued by the city, there's also momentum stemming from the city's potential sale of its emergency services building to Big Agnes and Honey Stinger and investments already made in properties including Sweetwater Grill, Howelsen Place and Alpenglow Condominiums.

“We clearly need to keep going,” Scully said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

Community comments

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(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I guess I'm one of those 22. I was in the room.
Am I a stakeholder?

It is true, as an Oak Street property owner, my taxes would be diverted to this URA. But is also true that of the $millions in URA capital improvements being priced by City engineers, not a penny is headed for my street.

My taxes will be spent giving my leasing competition downtown all his needed infrastructure. I will go without. I am a very special stakeholder.

Posted 23 October 2012, 12:26 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

Well, that is irony.

That is why government messing with the free market is always unfair because then some taxpayers are seeing their money being used to help their competitors.

Government can set the rules of the playing field so that all competitors face the same challenges of having to pay a minimum wage and so on. But when government enters the game and says it is better if Yampa wins and Oak get to both lose and help pay for Yampa winning then the people on Oak no longer enjoy playing the game.

And so the winning strategy is to befriend the politicians so they can always put you on the winning side.

Posted 23 October 2012, 1:39 a.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

Aw shucks, Steve, isn't it great being special. Less government is better, though there still needs to be some to protect others from having their property taken, forcibly, through taxation to benefit others or simply by harming others property - clean air and water. The federal reserve being the ultimate thief today.

Posted 23 October 2012, 7:03 a.m. Suggest removal

(cindy constantine) cindyconstantine says...

I do not believe any one of us are excited about how most of our tax $$ are spent at any level of government, but improving Yampa Street should result in more revenue to the City to fund improvements on Oak Street in future years. My advice to you Steve is to be patient if you like your community and want to hold on to your properties on Oak Street. They will be more valuable in the future, but Yampa Street improvments are but one more amenity for the LNB's you support as the future.

Posted 23 October 2012, 7:42 a.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...


From a macro economic viewpoint, no matter how much money is spent little additional revenue will be brought in. There is such a debt overhang today that little improvement in the economy will be seen for quite some time.

Just because you build something does not mean the economy is going to improve. One only needs to look at the vacancies on Lincoln to realize that additional retail space is not necessarily going to do anything. The most probable thing is that it will take away from retail on Lincoln and harm the gains that have been made there.

Really one does not really need to look very far economically to realize that protecting the assets one has, a vibrant Lincoln street, is better than diluting the market. In food marketing it is better to have full shelves, which I am sure is the same with the marketing of downtown. If half the store fronts, as retail space was doubled, are vacant what does that do for the impression of the community at large.

The simplest thing to improve downtown would be to oneway the numbered streets from Oak to Yampa and put in diagnol parking as that sometimes can be a challenge without the addition of more retail.

Posted 23 October 2012, 7:59 a.m. Suggest removal

(cindy constantine) cindyconstantine says...


I forsee a different vibe on Yampa as more of a nightlife/entertainment venue. Probably better to have more of that off of Lincoln anyway. I don't know how happy the residents--and there are many--will be with the changes including additional night noise/lights. As far as the existing firestation, I can picture a remodeled space where the fire truck bays are for a showroom/large retail store for BAP and no space like that exists on Lincoln. That will be a draw in itself. If you walk Yampa, there will not be a lot of additional retail space added anyway as far as I can tell. The important thing with Yampa Street is river access, which means some "pocket" parks. Planning will have to make some provisions for that with the private property owners as they come with their own development ideas.

Posted 23 October 2012, 8:31 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

"The important thing with Yampa Street is river access, which means some "pocket" parks. Planning will have to make some provisions for that with the private property owners as they come with their own development ideas."

Well, that will kill development proposals if they have to give up chunks of their property for pocket parks. The property owner should be able to decide how to leverage the river for maximum advantage and not the planning dept.

As for a BAP store being a big draw, that is a view apparently not previously shared by BAP until now when that theory is inspiring the city to sell them a building at a deep discount that will then collect rent from the city's continued use of the building. I note that BAP decided against moving their store in any of the prime locations on Lincoln.

Nothing against BAP, but their products or competing products can be purchased in any number of local stores. No one is going to confuse the BAP store with Apple's stores.

Posted 23 October 2012, 10:18 a.m. Suggest removal

(Fred Duckels) fredduckels says...

You seem to be the poster boy for voting Republican, let the market decide.

Posted 23 October 2012, 10:52 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

If only the Republican stood for letting the market decide. Republicans are also very guilty of interfering with the free market. Republicans fought against letting corn to methanol subsidies expire and so on.

I think two of the primary advocates on the City Council of government for Yamps St are identified as Republican.

Posted 23 October 2012, 11:07 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I have been patient. I've tried diplomacy. 4 weeks and two weeks ago I went to their meetings and asked for tax fairness. The above article is my answer. I've yet to talk with an Oak Street "stakeholder" who feels this is right.

Even when pointed at Yampa Street, Urban Land Institute report went out of it's way to say this effort should be comprehensive to all three streets. The City and the steering group are cherry-picking the report they paid for to serve one street.

At this point, asking for patience, waiting another decade, is asking a lot. What are you asking of the other side? Take a walk to 3rd and Lincoln. You will see a boarded up building. Head from there to the river. You will see a parcel of weeds where 40 homes used to sit. This is the ethic and track record you are asking me step aside for?

Unfortunately Fred, this transfer of my taxes to support my competition is championed by local Republicans. Go figure.

Posted 23 October 2012, 11:32 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I need to apologize for my last comment. That's not what this is about. Sorry.

Posted 23 October 2012, 12:09 p.m. Suggest removal

(cindy constantine) cindyconstantine says...


You are right, I was insensitive to you and all Oak Street property owners. With the # of churches, govt buildings and service businesses that exist on Oak Street you should not be part of the district the ULI identified. I really do not see much of a retail/restaurant atmosphere expanding on Oak Street for the long term. I would prepare a petition for property owners to sign to have the City reconsider taxing Oak Street for any improvements associated with Lincoln or Yampa.

Posted 23 October 2012, 7:33 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

Cindy, why the need to redevelop Yampa if you are not adding retail. Additional nightlife, that simply takes away from the other nightlife spots in town.

Ditto on Scotts Post.

Fred, it would be the poster boy for Libertarian and one who respects all private property rights... those which protect the environment from being trashed by others who seem to think they can do whatever on their land no matter the impact is casts on others.

Posted 23 October 2012, 7:34 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Big republican poster-boy Rubio just voted to re-new sugar subsidies too.
Hard to see the difference, Fred.

Libertarian maybe. Not republican.

Although, I guess if we're going to kill our economy, the republican concoction makes it a slower death than Obama.

Posted 23 October 2012, 10:44 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger

That would seem to sum up both parties' theory on improving the economy. By failing to destroy it is how they think they are making it stronger.

Posted 24 October 2012, 1:18 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

No worries.
Actually I like what the ULI has suggested. It's great stuff for Yampa Street, and I supported that when I spoke to them 4 weeks ago. But again, the most important ULI report recommendation is still this one: "comprehensive upgrade of all three streets". As I've been saying, we simply ask that Oak Street TIF money be used on Oak Street, and with our direction.

I had a good conversation today with Tyler Gibbs. It sounded like Oak Street will get improvements and be able to approach the input-to-benefit that we were seeking. In that event, I feel this URA is a good deal for Oak Street that my neighbors could support.

Lincoln Avenue may want to swing with the Yampa St thing or be different in some way too. URA's allow subdistricts. That may be appropriate downtown.

Petitioning out is not an attractive solution. This TIF will not leave much inclination at the County to endorse a second one downtown anytime soon.

Posted 24 October 2012, 2:15 a.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...


Here is a problem that extends beyond the URA boundaries. The city is facing budgetary problems, the county had to temporarily tighten its belt so how is it fair to direct taxes at all three streets and forego the rest of town with those increased tax revenues.

On the city side if the redevelopment is a moderate success and say property taxes moderately go down and yet there is a large increase in sales taxes in the district and yet the rest of town sees only small increases. Those in the URA benefit at the expense of the broader community.

So just as your concerns about your property not seeing any benefit, how about those who will not see any benefit if even as you say all increases in tax revenue should go to the development of the URA within its bounds? How is that fair to the rest of the community, the city employees who have been on furloughs for years with little pay increases.

If I am not mistaken, the URA fixes its taxes at a given level and then any additional revenues go to fund those projects within the URA. If I am wrong please correct me but as I understand URA's that is how they work.

It is not like YAMPA street is blighted with poor valuations, it is a quirky street that has successful business' on it because of what it is. Yes there are holes in it, parks are great, but if that is what is wanted, then use the Tourism tax funds to buy the private property to put them in. You already have a funding mechanism for that if that is what you are after, if the council decides to go that way.

There is probably is little economic gains to be had in pushing a major redevelopment of Yampa street for the broader community. BAP very well could be better served, consolidating on TIC"s campus. Which is probably going to leave more of a void for the community to fill than the perceived need to redevelop Yampa Street.

Posted 25 October 2012, 9:56 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

There is the important of having ever vigilant individuals keeping an eye on government. Would there have been any money spent on Oak if Steve wasn't out there complaining? Looks pretty clear that Oak St was not on the City's radar with nothing being mentioned or presented about Oak St until Steve started complaining.

Posted 25 October 2012, 10:38 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I agree with you that this is a serious ask of the County, and of the community. My post to a previous (Council makes decisions in the wrong order) article:

"A large piece of this hoop is County and School District blessing of a TIF district that would fund downtown upgrades. To my knowledge the City has yet to contact the County about this multi-million dollar piece of their plan. The previous TIF at the base area came during the flush years. Very different to ask for one today."

I asked a County Commissioner about this possible TIF. The response was "what are the numbers?" and "we would need to be careful this doesn't hurt anyone". I think that goes right to your point.

Posted 25 October 2012, 11:14 a.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

The real flaw in these improvement districts is the premise that the increase in property values is because of the money spent. But the assessed property values will increase regardless because downtown values improved in the latest period so it is taking money the county and the schools would have otherwise received.

If the was a way to structure it so that the district only got credit for the increase in property values greater than the regional average then it would make more sense. Since if it is doing better than the local average then maybe that additional portion is because of the improvements.

But using weak property values as the starting point and then claiming all increases in values is because of some improvements is just wrong when the rest of the market also improved significantly.

Posted 25 October 2012, 11:47 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

The presentation (covered by this article) addressed your point. There is an increment in the "base" that corresponds to surrounding and global market valuations.

Posted 25 October 2012, 12:03 p.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I also believe the downtown has a legitimate need of what every town would consider as basic. Sidewalks for sure. Street lighting is a fair request too.

Yampa St has another legitimate need - under-grounded utilities. I don't know if we can afford that now but their south side has no alley to hide the stuff overhead. More bells and whistles beyond that may be asking too much of the County. If so let Greene Court Partners and the other owners on Yampa do the fancy improvements.

Here is the rub for Oak St.: This TIF will likely max out what the County can afford to give. Leaving Oak St improvements out of this TIF, or excluding Oak St from this TIF altogether, eliminates our prospects for those improvements.

I am biased here, but I think this basic downtown infrastructure is more critical than getting Big Agnes onto Yampa St. It will also take a lot less money to accomplish. They should table the public safety building sale until a comprehensive plan for the whole is in place and the County's TIF endorsement is assured.

Posted 25 October 2012, 12:49 p.m. Suggest removal

(Harry Thompson) shocked says...

Hey Lewi, It is not much fun when someone with no dog in the hunt starts doing things that effect your property. For years that is what you and the community alliance have been doing to people.

However with that in mind it would be totally insane for the city to spend money on improvements on Oak street. There is no way that with the limited amount of retail on Oak to ever expect any kind of a return on the investment. If you and the other owners want sidewalks, which is an improvement too and will add value too your property they should pay.

I really think that what the city has or at least is trying to do is going to go down as an all time new bonehead move. On Yampa street at least there is a reasonable amount of commerce.

Posted 25 October 2012, 3 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

Burying the electrical should be up to YVEA and wether or not they feel that it is worth it, or when they replace the wires because there safe lifespans have passed.

Sidewalks, that will take away parking and may not be needed on Yampa as it is very pedestrian friendly how it is set up - currently. Oak street not so much so.

Posted 25 October 2012, 4:19 p.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

There is a podium downtown. The only complaint you have with CAYV or myself is simply that we use it. If we are persuasive, it stems from nothing more than the value of a better argument. The "doing" is by the 3 or 7 you and I elected, right?

"No dog in the hunt" is your way of ignoring my stake in the commons. An oil well and protection of local environment is Routt's current example of our views. This URA involves a discussion of the commons, re: your taxes, and about economic interests. There are valid arguments reflecting special interests of streets or even individual owners. Your argument for the commons (taxes) has merit too.

Like most Cities, Steamboat Springs invests capital improvements (CIP's) to benefit it's population. The City has these same sidewalks on their CIP to do list. You disagree a City or County should do that?

Posted 25 October 2012, 5:42 p.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

It may help to point out, lest you think me greedy - We built our 50 ft of Oak Street sidewalk, and lighted it, a decade ago.

But our poured concrete sits useless until the next ones are poured too. Should I wait another decade to another 50 ft to be added to mine? I think this URA a good idea.

Posted 25 October 2012, 6 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

Most cities have the developers pay for those sidewalks when the property is developed.

The Commons and ones stake in it, especially as presented... is a way of forcing others to pay for one believes the world should be. Plato had very good writings on how democracy devolves into mob rule. We need this, that or the other.

Fortunately the founding fathers saw this problem and founded our government on Iriquois principles, unfortunately we have moved way beyond what was envisioned. Yes we are a different world however, those principles still can be looked to in protecting the environment... the need to steer the economy via an URA, not so much so. Too many people get hurt by the URA's diversion of taxes from where they should go.

To be up there pushing for one believes is the "commons" at the expense of what someone else might believe "the commons" is wrong.

Less government and the closer to the people the better. Then you can actually have dialogue about an issue, as opposed to people sitting in an ivory tower, deifying others opinions, no matter wether they are right or wrong and what caused the formulation of their opinions. Unfortunately we put far too much stock in the piece of paper that one obtains through their indoctrinations, oops I meant educations.

Posted 25 October 2012, 8:02 p.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

As I understand our country, the balance point of "the commons" is set by a majority through established law. The boundary of that law is pushed back to accommodate the minority, through application of the individual rights assured in our Bill of Rights. This is a central function of our justice system and many boundaries of the commons are found in the precedents set by decades of these court cases.

Like you, I trust my sense of fair play. The legal boundary of it is fairly easy to find through the internet. This website has been helpful. An example link, among others I read back during the County deliberations on Oil and Gas:

You can search for subjects. This is the home page:

Posted 27 October 2012, 2:15 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

Yep those legal cases, move us further and further from individualism to collectivism.

At some point the burdens to support "the commons" deter those from working harder to better themselves, if most of the fruits of their labors go to provide for things they do not believe in.

The commons that can not be sacrificed without some penalty are clean air, water (and legally adjudicated uses) and a food system which does not allow one company to control the seed supply with toxic foods as BT corn is. Beyond that, there really should not be much to the commons. Government should also provide essential services, but not pick winners and losers (that includes the viability of rental properties on Yampa versus the rest of town).

The commons and drive for environmentally sound energy systems fails to take into account the total cost of solar panels, an electric vehicle or all those wonderful things many deify. Though when one looks at the environmental damage caused from the mining of all these precious resources and the potential from other technologies, some of which I was opposed to until very recently. One I believe will put my energy production far ahead of many combined wells without the need to inject super secret chemicals into the earth.

Though that is as far into my plans as I get on a bulletin board today and probably several years down the road.

PS vote for change in our local government! Fresh ideas and perspectives are needed.

Posted 27 October 2012, 6:58 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

"If we are persuasive, it stems from nothing more than the value of a better argument."


It stems from your ubiquitous presence at these public meetings. You, and people like you all over the country, are constantly there, wearing down, grating, grinding, on the powers-that-be.
The majority of "the commons" are silent. Theyt are busy working for a living and, frankly, they detest people like you.
The politicians give in to people like you, Steve, because they know you will "community organize" on their ass if they don't, and they know "the commons" don't have the time or inclination to put together opposition to whatever hair-brained schemes "community organizers" like you promote.

"My stake in the commons". ?
Don't make me laugh, Steve. They don't get much more "common" than me and you represent me about like Lucifer represents Gabriel. I could list out 200 people by name right here that would laugh 'till they peed their pants at some of your ideas of "helping the commons".

Steve, you could give a rat's-ass about "the commons". Your use of that term is nothing more than a way of claiming a larger voice than that to which you alone are entitled.
If you gave a damn about "the commons" you would think twice before promoting actions that saddle the most common among us (the poorest) with more and more and more and more taxes and fees and regulations and rules.

"Lest you think me greedy..."
Oh, I definitely "think [you] greedy".
Perhaps not for lucre, but for power, for influence, for a slice of the utopia you, and people like you, are determined to create, even if it bankrupts the rest of us.

You, Steve, are as greedy as they come.
You can't imagine and refuse to accept living in a world where all "the commons", (for whom you profess to care so much) are allowed to sort out their daily lives without your "guidance".

In my estimation, you are little more than a mob leader masquerading as a thoughtful, contemplative, and concerned community organizer.

You remember how those japaneese men went into that reractor to try and stop it from leaking?
You remember how they got their whole lifes dose of radiation in just 3 or 4 hours?
Well, Steve, I'm 45 years old, and I've had my entire lifes dose of community organizers like you and Barack Obama.

Posted 27 October 2012, 8:27 p.m. Suggest removal

(cindy constantine) cindyconstantine says...

Settle down, Mark or you may burst a blood vessel in your brain and could post no more. And stop ranting like you are 75 instead of 45.

Posted 27 October 2012, 8:41 p.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

I think there is a bigger story here.
That being how we can't handle truth, criticism, differing opinions, or opposition...

Posted 28 October 2012, 12:35 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

Those are your words, not mine. Difficult to reconcile with your post above.

Posted 28 October 2012, 12:44 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

I handle the truth just fine. Let me assure you all, I've dealt with far weightier "truths" than anything being discussed here.

Reconciling the above statement, which I stand behing after a good night's sleep, with my previous statement, is quite easy.
You see, my previous statement was not an appeal for softer rehtoric, but for all of us to be more tolerant of other peoples opinions, whether they be soft or hard.
If you recall, in those statements, I defended a guy who had just "ripped me a new one"; something I've not seen many others do here.

No, I didn't applaud his statement, but I advocated for it to be tolerated; something I have done CONSISTENTLY on this blog.

I did not advocate for less truth, less criticism, similar opinions, less opposition.

Posted 28 October 2012, 5:50 a.m. Suggest removal

(Steve Lewis) lewi says...

You make "an appeal for all of us to be more tolerant of other peoples opinions."

At the same time you write that other people's opinions are "hair brained schemes" akin to "a dose of radiation." You can "list 200 people who are laughing at such ideas". You make it personal and ugly, writing that I am greedy for power, I am a masquerade. Thanks for that.

Tolerance? Mark, you literally hold a stone in each hand as you write. One stone demolished the discussion at hand, the other dissuades all but the most thick-skinned from venturing into the Pilot forum tomorrow.

I have to chuckle at the "power" one can build in your bruising sewer. That would be the height of delusion. More laughable is the concept that self-interest is patriotic when it goes in your pocket and devious when it protects your environment. Self-interest exists in every rationale.

If you need insults to make your point, your rationale is obviously falling short.

Posted 28 October 2012, 1:28 p.m. Suggest removal

(John Weibel) jweibel says...

"If we are persuasive, it stems from nothing more than the value of a better argument."

On this is it a better argument, a better arguer or an arguer (sp?) with more time, that leads to being more persuasive.

On local government rules Doug Monger is right that rules are put in place for a reason.

Though, sometimes that technology allows a process to no longer need a specific safeguard that was once established, if other precautions are taken. In the case of milk, pasteurization was enacted to ensure harmful bacteria are not present in our food supply. Today though we can ensure this is not the case by sending our milk to a laboratory to ensure that pathogens are not present at a certain point in time. Poor handling by anyone can cause pathogens to arise in even pasteurized milk.

Sometimes those laws are put to provide protections, yet there may be other ways of providing similar protection. Unfortunately as one government official stated elsewhere, I am not here to decide wether the rules are right or wrong, I am here to enforce the rules we have. Some rules make it hard for new competition - the requirement for yogurt to be mechanically packaged is a good example. If proper safeguards are put in place there would be an insignificant level of additional risk, which would should be covered by proper insurance.

So those there commons that are argued to be protected may simply be well funded lawyers trying to protect their business model at the expense of the common man or woman.

The persuasive arguer not really having the best interest of all at heart. We are all human and as such flawed. Leading to our arguments and safeguards potentially being flawed.

Posted 28 October 2012, 2:54 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

Go back through history and read some of the comments people like the signers of the Declaration of Independance used, even toward each other.
It was brutally honest. Verbally speaking, no quarter was given whatsoever. They had something to say and, when they were done, even the dimmest understood exactly what they said, meant, and believed.

I am tolerant of your opinion, Steve. I welcome it.
Just look back at the number of comments you made on this and some other threads with no interferance from me whatsoever, not even a peep.
I have not looked up your address, your tax records, the name of the town from which you hail, your net worth, or anything else about you, in order to use that against you for the purpose of shutting you up; something that HAS been done to me.
I have made no threats against you, nor would I ever do so.

But if you are going to step out in public and advocate for things which some people believe sinister, AS I CERTAINLY DO, then be prepared for some of those people to call it exactly what it seems to them to be.

I do not think I am being overly harsh, relative to most folks on planet earth. I beileve much of your hurt feelings come from living in a community where lots of those who disagree with you simply wouldn't say s**t even if they had a mouthfull.
You have simply met, in me, someone who calls balls and strikes with NO HESITATION, someone who couldn't care less whether or not you like what I say, and that is a shock to your system. I understand.

You must also consider that I am open to the possibility that I might be completely wrong. Hell, you might be right.
And I will admit that I can be a bit strong at times, but remember what I told you once before: I am here to offend you. As a deacon in the Church of the Painful Truth I consider that my job.
But I can only succeede if you give me permission, which it seems as though you have.

Posted 28 October 2012, 6:09 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

It would appear that you are saying that you accept that you cannot contend with persuasive arguments, but instead intend to defeat your opponents by being offensive.

The Founding Fathers were not always the models of eloquent ideas and did sometimes make rude comments about each other. Though, there is a difference between creating a government based upon the power of ideas and not always being eloquent and your manifesto for being offensive.

I do agree there is a misplaced perception that good manners means not objecting to bad ideas. But that does not mean bad manners should be displayed when stating one's objections to bad ideas.

Posted 29 October 2012, 11:27 a.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

What I am saying is that people who set out to engineer society to their own liking, over the objections of many of the individuals who make up that society, can expect to be held in increasingly low regard by the afformentioned segment of that afforementioned society.

It is also predictable that eventually, some of those more "common" individuals would begin to express themselves more forcifully, with more volume, and in increasingly rancorous outburts.

Furthermore, those individuals constituting the most "common" parts of society, by their very definition and ranking within that society, cannot be expected to conduct themselves in a manner which would ever possibly meet with the approval of those higher ranking members of that afforementioned society, even if that ranking exists only in the minds of those elite members of said society.

Is that clear?

Posted 29 October 2012, 8:40 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

No one is saying that comments must follow some arcane debate rules and comments that fail to meet those rules are rejected. Just that people focus on the ideas and avoid the personal insults.

Most people live that way. It is not some elitist concept.

Your words state pretty clearly how little you think of other people you call "elitists" or "common".

Posted 29 October 2012, 10:41 p.m. Suggest removal

(mark hartless) markhartless says...

I called myself "common", Scott.

As far as "elitists" go you are right. I don't think very highly of them at all, for it is not their words, but their DEEDS which "state pretty clearly how little [they] think of other people".

When people work to achieve that which demonstrably hurts other people I think very little of them.
When people work to usurp individual autonomy and responsibility I think very little of them.
When people claim to speak for those who they actually work against I think very little of them.
When people seek to empower a government to remove property from one person and and give it to others, something the law would not allow them to do individually, I think very little of them.

And, Scott, if that sounds to you like I am saying I think very little of lots of people it is not because I choose to "hate the whole world" but because these evils of which I speak have become so prevelant.

Posted 30 October 2012, 2:54 p.m. Suggest removal

(Scott Wedel) Scott_Wedel says...

Yeah, see how you can be disagreeable without being rude to others?

No reason everyone cannot do that. I think you underestimate your "common man" when you argued that nothing better than personal attacks should be expected.

Posted 30 October 2012, 6:45 p.m. Suggest removal

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