An examination of newspaper stories and opinion pieces (letters and op-ed contributions) indicates that a number of diverse political interest groups oppose Project Jackson. They include:
1. Residents of upscale subdivisions near the proposed development site who worry about access and parking problems, increased vehicular and pedestrian traffic, littering and petty crime. Long-term, they also worry about a possible decline of property values and marketability, and an increase in property taxes.
2. Libertarians who oppose unnecessary government spending (and concomitant tax increases), improper government activity (building/maintaining a baseball stadium), or the use of public money to benefit private business (“corporate socialism”).
3. Liberals who oppose government funding, subsidies or tax breaks to the wealthy or their financial institutions (“crony capitalism”). Sports franchise owners are usually millionaires.
4. People who, for various reasons, have reservations about the fluvial impact of development (increased storm water runoff, for example). These include environmental advocates, as well as those who utilize the riparian zone for recreational and educational purposes.
5. Those parents, teachers and property taxpayers who in spite of the School Board’s recent decision to support the project, remain concerned about the diversion of future public revenues from the educational system.
6. Those who are skeptical that the project will not have the economic impact projected by supporters or question the methodology used to generate those projections. Studies by Noll and Zimbalist, Delaney and Eckstein, Wilber C. Rich, Mark S. Rosentraub and Charles Euchner (over 1500 pages published between 1997 and 2008) indicate that employment and revenue claims stadium supporters make are often inaccurate or inflated.
Probably the only way to really determine the degree of support of opposition to Project Jackson is to submit the decision to the voters since North Augusta property owners are ultimate bag holders in this venture.
William T. Lott
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