Opinion

Five Points facelift a good sign

For a long time in Columbus, the Tax Allocation District, or TAD, was a more or less abstract concept — one that voters, by the narrowest of margins, didn’t buy into the first time it was put before them.

The next time, a comfortable majority thought it sounded like a good idea. Soon, as reported by staff writer Mike Owen, some work now going on at the once-busy Five Points intersection could be an example of the TAD and other growth-stimulation projects showing how they’re supposed to work.

Around the intersection of 13th Avenue, 17th Street and Linwood Boulevard, local investor D.L. Jordan has bought several properties that he is having prepared for future development. For now, he said, the project involves clearing and grading the sites to attract developers.

“Frankly, my objective here is civic,” Jordan told Owen. “I just think that we really need to do something about cleaning up that main artery.”

Anne King, executive director of Midtown Inc., praised Jordan as “an investor rooted in the community” whose investment had the potential to “create a ripple effect of regeneration.”

As detailed in Owen’s story, the TAD is just one of the vehicles that can help that regeneration along; two others involve Knight Foundation community improvement grants. The Minimum Grid project — funded with a $200,000 Knight grant with which King and Midtown were rewarded in a 2015 competition for coming up with the idea — is a plan to link Midtown and the central business district with walking, biking and transit routes.

The other, called “Incremental Development,” is just what its name suggests: an incentive program for modest, small-scale development in largely abandoned or deteriorated areas — “languishing property,” in King’s words.

Kudos to Mr. Jordan, who decided that “somebody needed to buy that corner and do a very nice job of building a development with special attention to landscaping and beautification … It didn’t look like anybody was going to do it, so I decided to do that.”

Here’s hoping he’s the first of many.

Bad Dog. Bad.

Just what Georgia needed — a “reality” (and we use that word with multiple implicit asterisks) TV “star” (see above) scolding the governor and legislature on something about which he is profoundly ignorant.

In tweets and robo-calls, Duane Chapman, aka Dog the Bounty Hunter, ripped into Gov. Nathan Deal and state officials for their “shameful” stance on police pay.

As most Georgians know, state law enforcement officers, at Deal’s urging, were legislated a substantial pay increase this year. Dog, it seems, was recruited as “celebrity” horsepower (forgive the mixed animal metaphor) by Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming, for a bill requiring that deputy sheriffs and local police officers have their pay boosted by a comparable percentage.

We’re all for that — police officers are outrageously underpaid — assuming such a bill provides cities and counties with the money.

We’re assuming Williams’ bill didn’t. We’re also assuming Dog didn’t.

The governor, unsurprisingly, was unshamed.

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