Response for Bagley

Several councilmembers say our growth policies are intended to maintain and improve the quality of life for current and future residents, including affordable housing. Mayor Bagley says Longmont has grown because it’s “a pretty desirable place to live.” I agree that it is, and I wish for it to remain so. I differ from Bagley in that I think we do not owe anything to potential future residents. Growth for its own sake is not compatible with Bagley’s description of Longmont. It will grow past its current desirable condition, if left to grow. If it’s pretty desirable now, let’s leave it that way. In my article of 17th June I channel Doug Brown in saying that we have reached the optimal size for a city.

“You’ve got to manage growth as it occurs,” Bagley continues. In contrast, I contend that stasis is a healthy condition for a city of Longmont’s size, and that growth management can consist of causing zero growth while making necessary internal adjustments as I have alluded to above. Later, Bagley is quoted again: “If there’s no more growth and no more building, the cost of living in Longmont is going to increase,” and “closing the door to development” would have “adverse impacts on the provision of affordable housing.” True enough as stated, but consider and compare the cost of land-leech growth. Nothing is free, and frankly I would pay more for nutrients to keep up the quality of life, rather than support the land-leeches. Toward the end of the article, Bagley says something more that disturbs me, that land-leech growth is necessary to fund the government services expected by Longmont’s residents. You know, he’s making exactly the point I argue.

The City must not depend on growth to sustain itself! Ponzi, Ponzi, Ponzi.


I showed the above text to Mayor Bagley, who thinks otherwise (and I hope I accurately recount): that growth is necessary for such ancillary considerations as having a younger population to sustain the elders, and also that if you don't permit growth with such constraints as "affordable housing", you end up with out-of-reach expensive houses, all being owned by rich white guys. I don't agree with that analysis, and I don't think Longmont needs to grow as motivated by his postulates.