‘Wishful thinking’

“For every argument against the shopping mall there is a much better argument in favor…” Unfortunately most of these other arguments are based on faulty figures or on utopian and politically motivated dreams.

The estimated market of more than 100,000 shoppers is, at best, wishful thinking. At most, the mall could expect to draw DeKalb and Sycamore shoppers along with a few from Southern DeKalb County (at most 60,000). Students who stay in DeKalb to shop don’t shop at the “upscale” establishments (present or future). Those who can afford such frivolity are loath to stay in DeKalb, regardless of potential spending sprees. The $40 million in “lost” revenue and the $60 million in “sales” are also based on these false assumptions.

The most glaring fallacy is that the City of DeKalb would be allowed to annex the county farmland. DeKalb has financed its political and financial mismanagement through annexation for years. Past county administrations have allowed this land-grab and paper profit to take place. The present county board is not so foolish as to allow this irresponsible activity to continue. Figures of “lost tax revenue” are therefore also in error.

I am in favor of economic development and also believe that the developer was well-intentioned in his plans. What the DeKalb area needs, however, is real and productive development and not wishful thinking. What the City of DeKalb needs is honest and responsible leaders and managers.

Carl H. Witt, Jr.


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