How much longer will city officials continue to throw money at a problem they can’t fix?
For years, untold millions of dollars have been poured into the Northwest Quadrant of Jacksonville, in a vain attempt to stimulate economic activity.
It has had about the same effect as the federal government’s efforts at “stimulus,” which generally stimulates corruption and waste.
Why is it that the local council members, legislators and members of Congress who have run afoul of the law almost always have had ties to the area where the city continues to direct millions of dollars?
It isn’t just the infrastructure improvements. Arguably, most of those were needed and justified.
But none of the so-called “investigative reporters” or left wing columnists in the city have looked into what has been spent and who has benefited. Instead, they write breath-taking revelations that first responders often crash while hurrying to save lives.
Once again, the drumbeat is on.
This time it is the closing of a Publix store at the Gateway Shopping Center that is being portrayed as a major tragedy.
Councilman Reggie Gaffney said residents of the area “will have nowhere else to buy fresh food.”
Liberals have made up a new, meaningless term: “Food desert.” It is supposed to refer to an area where no one has access to food, or something.
Last year, the City Council voted to spend $3 million in the area to address what it calls “food desert-related issues.” They also give discounts to groceries that will serve the area.
But there are countless mom-and-pop groceries in the area. No one is going to starve because a Publix closes.
Publix is one of the classiest, best-run businesses in Florida. It is not an arm of the United Way. It is in business to make a profit. If one of its stores does not get enough business to make a profit, there is no point in keeping it open.
There are two other Publix stores within 6 miles of the one that Publix plans to close in December. Two other chains are within 1.5 miles.
Mayor Lenny Curry’s administration has “reached out” to Publix and the owners of the shopping center, a spokesman said. It is not clear whether the people they are reaching for have reached back or not.
Gaffney called the closing of a grocery “a crisis” and told the Daily Record “We need to use our leverage and use our resources so they stay.”
That sounds a lot like a threat to bully or bribe the company to remain open and operate at a loss.
If the people in the area wanted a store to remain open they would patronize it. They are not going without food, so they must be buying it somewhere else.
In the meantime, the attached Google map shows a dozen oases in the “food desert” surrounding the Gateway Shopping Center.