As a community, finding balance in our lives is an increasingly difficult task. We work, play, and contribute based on our abilities and resources. Olympia is struggling to find its way. It is a town kept off balance by a one-sided agenda. I often compare Olympia to Austin, Texas. Austin is home to “South BY Southwest” (SXSW). For two weeks a year Austin is a one-trick pony. They celebrate music, movies, and the arts. In 2014, SXSW generated $312 million in economic activity in two weeks.
The Olympia isthmus should become home to NXNW. Introduce new restaurants, a nice hotel with convention center, a parking garage, expanded boardwalk, and a music venue. Here are some simple solutions that might help downtown:
Solution #1. Drop Impact Fees for three years on market rate housing projects. Market forces and the entrepreneurial spirit will do the rest.
Solution #2. LIHI is playing city hall like a fiddle and winning. If they have the $8 million to build, let them. They are using a contract to purchase to control OUR agenda downtown. Pass a resolution by the council NOT in support of the project.
Solution #3. Zero tolerance at the well. Play nice or go away.
Solution #4. Give law enforcement the tools and money they need to fight graffiti and property crime.
Solution #5. Enforce loitering laws. If you have nothing to do, do it someplace else.