EDITORíS DESK: In search of Snidely Whiplash
With the revelation that local investors approached Goodwill months ago about a low-impact, mixed-use plan, the plot has thickened even more in the melodrama of the nonprofit's quest to sell off its holdings in the 2300 block of West Colorado Avenue.
And it really has become a sort of melodrama - or maybe more correctly, "gaslight theater," in honor of Kum & Go - in that proponents of a massive convenience store/gas station next to Old Colorado City want us to overlook its spectacular incompatibility because (boo-hoo) Goodwill does so many good things in the community and thus merits our unquestioning support. And because (more gaslight theater) if Goodwill is prevented from selling to Kum & Go, the spectre of aging, empty buildings will shove OCC back to its slum and blight of 40-some years ago.
Let me say right here that I am as much a fan of Goodwill as the next person. We have written many a story about how the nonprofit helps lift up the disabled and disadvantaged. But it's also true that the entity has become more upscale over the decades. Its boards of directors generally come from pillars of the community, so of course they want the entity to be bigger and better. A side effect is that its stores are no longer humbly shelved locales, but are as pretty as department stores, and (unfortunately) its prices have come to reflect that.
Questions: Did Goodwill really, really need to leave the Westside and consolidate in a bigger, newer facility on Garden of the Gods Road? Would it have done so if the El Pomar Foundation (more pillars of the community) hadn't stepped up? Does it really, really need to build this huge new facility at Academy and Hancock (which has become the excuse for needing to sell the 2300 block so quickly)?
But here are the biggest questions. Drum roll, please - after all, this is melodrama... Why did Goodwill, after going to all the trouble of seeking public input on the 2300 block in October 2011, essentially blow off an investor group that represents the essence of what the community had asked for? Then, a short time later, change its sale plan without talking to that group? To put in a giant gas station? Doesn't it care about its Westside legacy?... Pause. Sorry about the cliffhanger ending. But stay tuned. More episodes are on the way.