Thursday, January 27, 2005

Convention Center - Step Back From Plan

In one of two letters to the TU today criticizing the Albany Convention Center plan the writer proposes a new and bold idea:

"The other important point this study brings into view is the "... opportunity cost of not investing this money in other public goods ..." This is where thorough, thoughtful, inclusive dialogue needs to take place with citizens. There has been little opportunity for such a dialogue thus far."

Dialogue with citizens? I'm not familiar with that but it sure sounds logical. Especially since we the citizens will bear the increased tax burden of this money losing Convention Center.

The author of the letter also introduces a concept that is critical to this discussion. Opportunity Cost. Essentially, if we spend $185 million (plus another $20-40 million to Wall Street in return for financing the project) we will be shutting the door on all the other ways we could improve Albany with that money. It will be shameful if our elected officials move forward without addressing the Opportunity Cost of the convention center project.