In the comments of this morning’s Leading Off post, someone asked when we were going to talk about the push by the Harlan Crow-backed Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel to gather signatures in order to call an election to halt the Convention Center hotel project. I suppose the time has come.
I’m not going to completely take a side just yet, but I will give you some talking points.
- Harlan Crow might be right. But I think hiding behind the CATOH’s “Safer Streets Not Hotel Suites” slogan is disingenuous to the extreme. I don’t recall “safer streets” being on his original agenda, and I don’t think he or any of the hotel owners on his side care. At least not in this fight.
- Before you twist the knife in my gut, I think the slogan is genius and pretty much right on.
- Apparently, every major issue that comes before council is going to end in a referendum. So: why don’t some of the people leading the outcry run for city council? Kind of cut out the middleman.
- If this project is a success, I think it depends more on the ancillary development. And I think Jack Matthews has a proven track record in that regard.
- Will this save downtown?
- With the city’s focus scattering, and large-scale developments giving us all sorts of different versions of downtown, does downtown actually need to be saved?