Tell us once more, please, what a slaughterhouse has to do with any of the priorities and extraordinary gifts with which Ticonderoga has been so richly blessed? Are we implicitly changing our town economic development standards and priorities, let alone risks of accomplishment as currently set forth in town and alliance plans? Or are our leaders demanding appropriate protections? What, exactly, is the price to be paid; and who’s paying. What is the anticipated number of new jobs, recruited locally and earning a living wage? Are there any exceptions relating to zoning, site beautification, prevailing wind/ smell, special infrastructure investment requirements, anticipated tax advantages that either side is or should be asking for?
There are two sets of issues in this proposed slaughterhouse deal. One has to do with the ultimate merits of the deal and “investment” costs and presumed returns to the Town and its partners. The other concerns the ability of our leaders to avoid budget cutting any current expenses (trans., jobs) or any expected tax revenues (trans., more jobs).
Almost half of America (that is eligible to work) either has chosen not to work or else is gainfully employed at $10 or less per hour. One of every four Americans is working poor. Almost one out of every three — 100 million Americans — are on one or another dole at any one time. In this age of uncertainty, however, who can trust anything he is told? One thing in life is a sure bet, however. Whatever the numbers are for America, they are going to be worse for Ticonderoga.
One implication of these numbers is that the economic trends are working against us. If ever there was a time to have a professional economic development team on the ground, this is it. If ever there was a time to protect the vision and be diligent in avoiding consequences of investing in the wrong deal, this would be that moment.