Author: Alexis

The City of San Francisco

The City of San Francisco

After Hurricane Ian, a low-lying Florida city starts to rebuild. Should it?

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ian when people started to evacuate, the city asked a real estate developer to develop some of the most expensive lots in the city. The developer found 15 acres (about four city blocks) that were free from flooding, and the city agreed to buy them for $750,000.

I’m the city manager at the time and I think this is a good deal. It will mean good jobs and new developments along with a lot of money and new homes for the people who were displaced. And I have a friend who lives on one of the lots and she says it looks like the ocean.

The problem is there’s only one road that leads from downtown. And it’s only accessible if you have a boat; if not, you have to take a public bus from downtown to the airport.

I call my friend, who has a boat, and I say, “How do you get from the airport to your lot?” He says, “The only way is to go down to the marina.” And then he tells me the story of how he lost his life trying to save his boat.

A couple of days later, the city council meets and they say, “We have to buy another three lots,” and they call in the developer. He finds three more lots and says, “This is the best deal we could find,” and I say, “Great.” A month after the developer called, we’re walking through the city hall parking lot and he pulls up in a stretch Cadillac, with a white hood. We go into his office and he goes to the city manager’s desk and brings me a box of chocolates and says, “Merry Christmas, Mr. Mayor.”

I take the box and I hand it to my friend, and I say, “Do you want some chocolates?�

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