Nicholas Taiber

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  • Thanks Brad! The initiative deserves a better name! We should get this rolling in the upcoming months, hopefully city council agrees during the annual goal setting process (in November) to renew our economic development efforts. There is tremendous interest!

  • Thanks Aaron. Policy makers, especially at the local level, don’t always have the luxury of perfect information or facts. We must act on observation, experience and all forms of understanding – from economics to sociology. I concede that my rhetoric may impact the argument, but no facts will directly support predictions on increasing or decreasing enrollment – this is the process of inference. If the latest information is any indication, enrollment will increase (we will know in a week or two). Dr. Ruud’s enthusiasm (and insinuating statements) in front of the regents further supports the prediction. I redact the word ‘record’ and replace it with ‘recent high’. My choice of words could always improve, my weekend writing will never win the Pulitzer.

    Since council acted without perfect facts on the moratorium nor were the impacts of the regulation duly evaluated – economic, sociological or otherwise – you could easily argue that the moratorium decision was without basis. The number of conversions was the primary argument, but no counter-facts such as ‘reversions’ or new housing starts were cited. Council received numerous correspondence on the topic, the most intriguing was an appraiser’s view (which didn’t support the moratorium). I will ask permission to share it.

    I have a disdain for bad regulation. My greatest fear is that the moratorium and follow-up regulations turn into an insidious form of socio-economic discrimination, a modern form of Jim Crow laws. You can’t pick your neighbors, but you can certainly ‘zone them out’. The action/impact matrix attempts to account for such things. It goes beyond inclusion and adds other terms form the sustainability lexicon. As I eluded to earlier, it is one data point, my own. It is meant to be supplemented by other input. More importantly, I it helps us explore process improvement and thoughtful recommendations.

  • Thanks Jim. Transportation is a logical next step for UNI’s sustainability initiatives (and the City’s less formal initiatives). Thinking differently about transportation might alleviate our ongoing issues about parking in CF (one of the chief concerns in our ongoing rental conversion debate). I am intrigued with Buffalo, NY, They’ve introduce a bike share program similar to what you suggest. Rather than b-cycle-like corals, bikes are located at ‘hub’ racks – less expensive infrastructure. Of course, the Amsterdam model (500 bikes) might work, but it other pros/cons to consider. Buffalo also has two model car share programs: AND Zipcar, Who ‘drives’? It seems the University is the natural starting point, the origin for most original, innovative thinking (and it has a formal sustainability program)!!

  • This is referred to as ‘breaking the plane’. Building articulation (i.e. a change in surface depth), a porch, a balcony column, etc. could break the vertical plane. Banding, change in clapboard width, material transition (brick to something else), etc. could break the horizontal plane.

  • Hi Kate, in my opinion, it is hard to find good reason for the tabling. We have been discussing the issue for over 2 years, staff’s proposal was expertly done outlining the pros and cons, especially in light of the circumstances we face today from a cost and organizational management point of view. I think some council members are uncomfortable with change. Others incorrectly saw it as a referendum on the current mayor. A former council member mentioned some ‘soft’ reasons in an op-ed piece such as social dynamics, yet his financial analysis was wonky.

  • Hi Matt, great questions.
    1) CF should have its first CNG pump this year. With this new infrastructure, I could see CNG as the fuel of the future. Conversion would take time (equipment, maintenance, specs, etc.), but it will surely be evaluated in the future. Will talk to Bruce S. on the possibilities.
    2) The Union Road trail is funded as part of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Funding comes from general obligation bonds (GO). We have a current policy of only issuing replacement debt, so we maintain a fixed debt level, more or less (less this year!). Debt service (principal and interest) is paid from the general fund (i.e. property taxes). The Debt Service Levy could be used as well, another property tax. On Center Street, incremental improvements are occurring, but not the full Hamlet plan. The level of spending is a matter of Mayor/Council prioritization which comes down to competing priorities. Much needed Center Street improvements are coming, but the pace may test the patience of the stakeholders!

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Iowa-raised, business development pro, councilman, active lifestyle advocate, family guy, free thinker, traveler, fiscally sane, libertarian