Affluenza at 'Cadillac Corner'

Regarding the April 25 "Unusual Plans for Cadillac Corner" story in the Times, can't these caffeinated busybodies do something other than build ticky-tacky, then tear it down for some new designer cement every decade or so?

What silly, dizzy, empty souls. "Affluenza" does not equal culture.

Walnut Creek is soooo over, toast, unless shopping and recreational eating mark the good life for you.

This pretentious little town could learn from neighbors Lafayette and Danville how to retain a dollop of charm, and trees.

"Cadillac Corner," indeed. Yuck.

Michael Scott

Walnut Creek

All about the money

The city is set to go down the path of a sales tax increase. The stated reason is a $4.4 million budget shortfall. The staff says a half-percent increase will result in $7 million in revenue on top of the $19 million already being generated.

A doubling of parking fees and the enforcement extension to 8 p.m. daily and all day Sunday supposedly will generate another $3 million. While the city council says the change in parking fees is not motivated by increasing revenue, to believe them you have to believe in the tooth fairy. It's always about the money.


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Has the staff provided the council any price elasticity of demand analysis? The price elasticity of demand measures the responsiveness of quantity demanded to a change in price. While the merchants in town might keep their prices steady, the real price of shopping in Walnut Creek goes up with a sales tax increase and the already implemented increased cost of parking.

What will be the impact on the retailers of these actions? My bet is they will see a drop in sales as people opt to shop elsewhere. I'm surprised there hasn't been more opposition to these actions by the merchants.

It is doubtful that the rosy predictions of revenue increases from the two sources will actually be realized. When the city ignored zoning restrictions, height limits, etc., to entice Neiman Marcus to come aboard the motivation was that this would generate $400,000 annually in sales tax. Did this happen? There has only been silence on this ever since the store opened.

The city has become the destination point for shopping in the county. The council seems to be set on damaging that by increasing sales tax, increasing the cost of parking and even the soon-to-be-implemented ban on plastic bags (you get to pay for the paper bags you get).

To remain the dominant destination for shopping (and thus sales-tax-generating), the city has to be friendly and welcoming to shoppers. Unfortunately, the council is making the city less friendly and welcoming. As said before, it's all about the money.

Ken Hambrick

Walnut Creek