Horse Manure Thinking

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Oct 12

A client of mine got a negative report from a county where she is planning a new 65-lot residential development. 

In particular, a spreadsheet was submitted by a neighbor that purported to show that the fiscal impact of (any) new subdivision on the county’s balance sheet and operating statement would be negative. 

Here was my advice to her:

I know spreadsheets, Becky (not her real name).

A spreadsheet author can make almost anything look bad if s/he really wants to. This is probably more NIMBY’ism but disguised as fiscal concern for ratepayers. 

example, I know that the cost of maintaining parks in that county is atrociously high. 

So opponents to your project could
say, for example, that by agreeing to add more people to the area, they will create a need for more parks and more parks means more spending. 

This is untrue since their existing parks are vastly underused at this time, and have been for many years as their population rapidly ages and their kids grow up and bolt what has become a place reserved almost exclusively for the nearly dead, a condition you are trying to reverse…

This is like what an accountant once said at a Ford Motor Car board of
directors meeting during a steep recession—we
should close more plants,
 he said to which an engineer on that board responded, “Think
about how much more money we would save if we closed all Ford plants?” 

Everyone except the bean counter laughed. 

that type of horse manure, short term, accountant-type, vision-less thinking that gets people, businesses
and governments even not-for-profits and charities in trouble… 

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, Ottawa Senators founder, Real Estate Investment and Business coach, ROYAL LePAGE Performance Realty broker,  1-613-762-8884


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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.