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Our View: Better to cut ties now

The good thing about the city firing its consultant for developing a comprehensive plan is that SmithGroup JJR was the firm that Mayor Gary Doty's administration wanted. If SmithGroup had been favored by the City Council and opposed by Doty, it w...

The good thing about the city firing its consultant for developing a comprehensive plan is that SmithGroup JJR was the firm that Mayor Gary Doty's administration wanted. If SmithGroup had been favored by the City Council and opposed by Doty, it would have taken an unproductive fight to get rid of it.
Be that as it may, our assessment is that the consultant has been unable to attract widespread involvement for the process, which was originally met with great anticipation. After almost a year of meetings and effort, the comprehensive plan has yet to address or engage Duluthians in deciding our most controversial issue -- namely rezoning. Until we engage in the hard work of deciding where the apartments will be, where the greenspace will be, and how much development at what distance from the waterfront will be involved, nothing in the planning process will prevent the final result from becoming another report sitting on someone's bookshelf gathering dust.
It is better that the city save $130,000 by cutting its ties now if we are headed toward an end product unlikely to help us resolve our land development issues.

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