Council fiddles as another car dealer closes
Original post made by RS, Downtown North, on Jul 27, 2006
For a couple of years now, City Council members have claimed they were concerned about the threat of car dealerships leaving our city -- and taking their sales tax dollars with them. Not only do the dealerships produce city revenues, they're also convenient for residents who want to be able to take their car in for maintenance/repair. Now Ford joins the list of dealers that have closed. Dealers in neighboring cities will sell Fords to Palo Altans, and those cities will get the sales tax dollars. What has council done to keep our dealerships from closing? A lot of talk. Talk about a new place for dealerships where the municipal service center is now located -- nothing happened, of course. Talk during the election about how dealers should just sell cars online -- not a realistic solution, but what do council members know about business? This kind of reminds me of the Hyatt Rickeys saga, where a bunch of pushy neighbors poisoned the atmosphere so much, Hyatt tore down its hotel and is building a bunch of houses -- which will create more traffic and further overwhelm our schools. When Palo Alto loses a hotel or car dealership, how does the city deal with that loss of revenue? Does it cut the city budget and layoff some employees? No way. It looks for more avenues to get residents to pay to run the city. I don't want residents to shoulder the entire burden of feeding our expensive city government. I think businesses should pay part of the bill. But it's hard to get businesses to pay if they have left town.