Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, January 29, 2007

Good Advice

An excerpt from an article in Saturday’s Lewiston Tribune about Paul Kimmell’s departure from the Moscow Chamber of Commerce:
Kimmell said the issue of growth and economic development has increasingly tended to divide the town and even the region. He said all entities should work together to make the Palouse a vibrant regional retail center that attracts shoppers.

"Keep working together," he said. "We have had a great relationship with Pullman. Don't let these little skirmishes along the way distract us."
Kimmell’s right. Scotty did a great job pointing this out on The PES last Monday. Whitman County obviously benefits from the Hawkins Development, but so will Moscow. It will draw customers to their retailers just over the border and will probably result in even more stores being built in Moscow. Pullman will get the least out of the deal, but will still benefit from the tax revenue somewhat by being part of Whitman County. If nothing else, the county won’t have to keep raising the sales tax. Plus, as the corridor develops, it will develop to the west and Pullman.

Moscow could cooperate and extend services to Hawkins for a slice of the tax revenue pie, but has chosen to fight it instead. Pullman is least able to provide infrastructure because of the distance, but if money becomes available, hopefully we will extend services in the corridor. That’s what Kimmell is talking about. Everybody helps and everybody wins.

I have said many times that a threat to free enterprise anywhere on the Palouse is a threat to free enterprise everywhere on the Palouse. We’re seeing that now with Nancy Chaney. Ultimately, only the Greater Moscow Alliance and the Moscow Chamber of Commerce can deal with Chaney, as we can’t vote in their elections. We need their help and vice versa.

I’m encouraged by recent public comments by the GMA and the Moscow Chamber about Chaney’s meddling in Whitman County affairs. If we are to be allies, we must be true allies, not like the US and the Soviet Union during WWII, fighting a common enemy but still secretly trying to stab each other in the back. I’m afraid there are still some people in Moscow that oppose the no-growth liberals there but gleefully join in with the Pullman no-growth liberals (i.e. Gerard Connelly of Tri-State). That must stop. It’s going to take a strong coordinated effort to stop the depredations of the Moscow Civic Association and PARD. We can’t let them win through a “divide-and-conquer” strategy. They are strongly united. We must be also.

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