The City Council is scheduled to finalize their decision on Alma Plaza this Monday (June 18). I wrote an opinion piece using Alma Plaza as an example of some of what is wrong with our decision process, focusing on the City Council.
This piece was accepted and targeted to appear this week the Palo Alto Weekly but it now likely to appear next week. With their agreement, I am posting this as a preview.
"Alma Plaza is a $12 million giveaway by our City Council" (Web Link)
The term "giveaway" has proven to be more controversial than I anticipated. Multiple reviewers were uncomfortable with using the term "giveaway" for anything that wasn't direct and minutely traceable, which this is not. I viewed this as excessive and unrealistic in our current world - a financial equivalent of "There is no proof that cigarette smoking causes cancer."
However, since this concern came up repeatedly and I was unable to find an appropriate replacement word or phrase, I quickly drafted an explanation of my view point on this word:
"(A rough introduction to) The Economics of Giveaways" (Web Link)