Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nipping Potential Problems in the Bud

Joel_Sternfeld: McLean, Virginia, December 1978
Source: Joel Sternfeld: McLean, Virginia, December 1978.
Potential Problem with Farmers Markets

Mayor Laura Maczka:
One of the strengths that our city has is that we recognize potential problems before they become problems.
The Richardson city council is always on the lookout to nip potential problems in the bud. Or seed. Or pod. Or whatever.

What's the potential problem this time? The answer, after the jump.



Is the potential problem too much traffic? No, the council celebrates bringing huge new businesses (State Farm) and apartments (Palisades Village) to our city.

Too many gas stations? No, even though there are dozens in Richardson already, the council can't get enough gas stations, even in some of the dumbest places (QuikTrip in old downtown, 7-11 next to a DART station).

No, the potential problem the city wants to nip in the bud is too many farmers markets. How many farmers markets does Richardson have at present? One. And it's part-time. But it's better to stifle this potential new market problem before it gets too popular. You can't be too careful.

You might think that Richardson's potential problem of having too *many* farmers markets is outweighed by Richardson's existing problem today of having too *few* farmers markets. You might think that instead of tasking city staff to come up with ways to stifle a potentially rejuvenating idea, the city council would task city staff to brainstorm ways to bring *more* farmers markets to declining strip shopping centers in our city. But no.

The city council is good at pulling the punch bowl away before the party gets out of hand. It's not so good at attracting the punch bowl in the first place. And that's where a purported "strength" of our city is actually a weakness.

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