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)