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By Scott Tibbs, December 10th, 2004

Canterbury revisited

Canterbury Apartments, the controversial West Side apartment complex that environmental activists tried to stop with a tree-sit and which got controversial tax-free bonds for its' construction, has applied for a reduction in its' property taxes and is charging significantly higher rent than previously. People who had lived in Canterbury under Section 8 housing assistance are now looking for a new place to live.

I supported the construction of Canterbury from the beginning, and defended the rights of the landowners to build there. However, the fact that taxpayers are not getting what they were promised is an example of why government should not be giving special favors to business. First and most importantly, it is unfair to other businesses. But the lofty promises made when these favors are given may not come to pass after all.

This is why I opposed the tax free bonds to begin with. While it turns out that I was on the right side all along, this is a lose-lose for everyone involved.


Update:: December 10, 2004

In her opening statement in a letter to the editor yesterday, former Monroe County Council candidate Lucille Bertuccio opened with this:

I am incensed about Canterbury Apartments! However, I promise not to accost County Council members shouting uncivil remarks.
That was one of the best lines I've seen in a LTTE in a long time.

Bertuccio was roundly (and justifiably) criticized during her campaign two years ago for a 2001 incident where she "rushed the council bench, screaming at members (Marty) Hawk and (Joni) Reagan". Later, she was "charged with resisting arrest as well as criminal trespass" after police invaded the a tree-sit in Brown's woods. (That she was right on the issue is another matter.)

Now, it is clear that Bertuccio is not above using self-depreciating humor over this incident. In a political system where too many cannot laugh at themselves, Bertuccio's joke is welcome and appropriate. Kudos to her for not taking herself too seriously; if only everyone else (this blogger included) could learn the same lesson.