music in the park san jose

If you’ve read this column for the last three weeks, you know
this

Gilroy Crusader

has taken a definite position against the establishment of an
Indian casino in the South Valley area.
I’ve used analogies in those columns against the casino as being
compared to the cute little

Gremlin

of movie fame, where, when doused with water becomes a monster
preying on the very people who welcomed it.
If you’ve read this column for the last three weeks, you know this “Gilroy Crusader” has taken a definite position against the establishment of an Indian casino in the South Valley area.

I’ve used analogies in those columns against the casino as being compared to the cute little “Gremlin” of movie fame, where, when doused with water becomes a monster preying on the very people who welcomed it. I’ve used the analogy of the casino being like an 800-pound gorilla, cute and harmless as an infant, but when able to utilize its strength and power, is not just a big version of a harmless chimpanzee, wanting no more than to be fed a few bananas, make you laugh, and keep you occupied. And I’ve compared the proponents of the casino as being like Dr. Jekyll of story fame, who embrace the casino-monster Mr. Hyde, with fantasy-like naivete, forgetting how in the end of that story, the monster ultimately consumes the good doctor Jekyll.

So while I’m against the building of a casino here, I’m now going to offer a more positive note, and wonder if something with a real productive value – i.e. a real economic engine, could take its place, still on land the Indians would own.

So as a brainstorming idea, why not have the Indians build and landlord a revitalized Indian Motorcycle plant on Indian land instead of a casino? Remember, to brainstorm is to stimulate creative thinking, and to develop new ideas, no matter how impossible or impractical they seem to be.

You might recall that we’ve just passed the one-year anniversary of the closing of the Indian Motorcycle plant here in Gilroy, where some 300 local jobs were lost. As you also might recall from past Dispatch articles, Indian Motorcycle, although ahead in sales forecasts last year, was not making a profit, and was unable to obtain necessary long-term financing to keep the business operating until such time a profit could be made.

In addition, California’s restrictive business climate was also adding to the company’s woes, and even if the company would have turned a profit, word was the company was looking at its options to relocate to one of a number of other states, or even Mexico.

Now add the fact that commercial and industrial developers who want to come to Gilroy will probably be saddled with “out of this world” traffic impact fees of a 150 percent increase on top of additional increases to help pay for improvement to utilities and public facilities, and you can conclude that Gilroy’s industrial future doesn’t seem to be very business-positive.

In fact to bring the impact into better focus I’ll quote The Dispatch’s numbers for industrial development per thousand square feet for local cities: Gilroy at $4,680 to $5,980, vs. Salinas at $150, and Watsonville at $98. While the figures for Hollister were unavailable, it’s a bet the figure is nowhere near Gilroy’s amount. So Gilroy is in effect, out of the local area competition for commercial and industrial development.

So, how do I see a win situation for all parties in my brainstorming idea? Now I’ll admit that I don’t have any details on how this idea would work, or even if it could work. But that’s the advantage of brainstorming – looking outside of the box, and considering non-standard options.

First, building a new Indian Motorcycle plant on Indian land would benefit the Indians. Since it would be located on their land, and if it would still be sovereign land, then the Indians could give job-hiring priorities to, yes, you guessed it – Indians! And the jobs that would not be filled by Indian workers could then be made available to non-Indian hires. Our business-seeking governor should be able to work out some plan with the Legislature to make such a plan somehow work within the scope of existing law, or new law. This would certainly fit into his “Open for Business” campaign to lure new industries to California, even if it means new businesses would be located on Indian land.

Second, a new Indian Motorcycle plant would hopefully (and should) benefit its investors. The corporation could be structured to maximize its location on sovereign Indian land, not subject to U.S. tax laws. There must be hundreds of clever tax attorneys who could figure out the details.

And finally, Gilroy would benefit. How? If the city is suppose to benefit from a nearby casino, how much better the economic side-effects from a real nearby economic engine like an Indian Motorcycles plant? Crazy? Maybe, but maybe something to think about, too.

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