...and you'd better get used to losing.

I think it was politics guru Steffen Schmidt who told me this related to one of the Iowa caucuses...I think before 2008.  But, I've been reminded of it throughout the discussion of the Breckenridge Land Acquisition plan to develop ISU student oriented housing on the site of the old middle school.  

That quote it rang like a bell in my head as I sat through the three-plus hours of Ames City Council debate and deliberation Tuesday.

Here's the problem with so many people in the CC/OAMS neighborhood being so dead-set against the "compromise" plan that would have put owner-occupied housing on the so-called "middle parcel.

This was the best deal they were likely to get.  

It's as 3rd Ward Council Member Peter Orazem said--this compromise gave the council options.  Well, looks like that option is gone.  The real question, now that the company has thrown out the compromise, is what comes next? Understand that if Breckenridge gets the rezoning it wants, there will be NO single-family, owner-occupied housing.  If the development is built (which is still a coin toss, but more on that in a bit) all the units will be rental.  All of them.  How much curb appeal will these units have when you're filling them with people who have no illusion about getting back rental deposits and have little "pride in property."  During Tuesday's meeting, someone who backed the compromise mentioned Pammel Court. Remember those firetraps?  

Again, you can insist on ideological purity, as long as you're comfortable with losing.

As to the coin toss that I think comes with getting the development built--because neighbors have protested rezoning, the plan needs five council members to vote "yes."  The compromise plan clearly didn't have them Tuesday night, and I think an even less-appealing plan will be...less appealing.

All this being said, I think the Council did make one thing clear--when a neighborhood says "we don't want this...don't do this to us" they'll listen.