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      Got the wrong discs? Or didn't receive them in the mail?   06/20/2018

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Expansion and Trouble

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HalcyonSpirit

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Mayor Michele didn't take too kindly to the founding of Benzoate right next to Cypress Creek's borders.  Without permission from Benzoate's mayor, Vi, Cypress Creek would not be able to expand to the north.  Despite her town's rapidly-growing population, she was not in a good position to bargain with Mayor Vi over development rights.  She set out to correct this.

Enter Jason, a 22-year-old middle-class worker and recent immigrant into the town.  He wasn't extraordinary in any sense, but Mayor Michele took quite an interest in him.  Jason had been attending the weekly administration meetings at town hall for several months and was already an outspoken citizen among the spectators.  He would often make suggestions to the town council and even to Michele herself concerning the development of the city.  At first he was mostly ignored, but as the months passed even Michele began to see some merit in his thoughts.  The most recent expansion of town - specifically the downtown area - was largely based on Jason's proposals, and it was a booming success.  Michele saw in him a reliable planner for her city and offered him a job as head of the city planning department.  He agreed, and was given a nice single-person home nearby the town hall as a gift.

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Michele announced his appointment at an administrative meeting, detailing his job duties as "serving Cypress Creek's needs by providing the most efficient infrastructure and zoning plans."  Behind closed doors, however, Michele gave him a higher set of instructions that overrode his official role in most cases: "plan the city to put as much money as possible into the city's coffers" was her words to him.

Jason immediately put himself to work.  His initial construction plans involved the expansion of the downtown commercial area toward the Dessan River, followed by the residential and industrial sectors.

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New businesses, factories and people almost immediately moved into the city.  Within a month, the whole area was fully developed and integrated into the city.

This immediate turnaround took Jason by surprise.  Cypress Creek, despite its recent growth, was still in the middle of nowhere with little communication to and from the outside world.  Yet, somehow, it seemed as if people were lining up and waiting just to get a chance to populate this remote region.  He'd never seen such a thing before.  How was word of the city's recent expansion finding its way out to the rest of the world, and why were people so eager to move in?  It got him thinking: did Michele have a secret she wasn't telling anyone?

Regardless of the reasons, Jason saw it as an opportunity.  If people were so willing to move in, why stop them?  It would, after all, put more money into Cypress Creek's bank, and he could gain the mayor's respect!  Eager to please his boss, he proposed a large expansion toward the river to the south, the namesake of the town.  It would involve zoning a large area of high density commercial for future developments should the town expand so much that it was needed.  When prompted at a meeting to discuss the proposal, he was quoted as saying "how can we call this town 'Cypress Creek' if we aren't even near the river we get our name from?"  Ultimately, the town approved the expansion and it was laid out in a matter of two weeks.

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Once again, people migrated to the city in droves.  Soon, the entire residential area was filled.  There was still a significant amount of commercial zoning available, so Jason asked that additional residential zones be mandated quickly.  She put it through and the further housing was developed.

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However, at a few town meetings factory owners were starting to complain of strain on their construction lines and a backup of orders.  They couldn't handle the recent explosion of growth and demanded Michele correct this problem.  She put it to Jason to expand the industrial sector to meet the demands of her ever-growing city.

The new factories were beginning to be built when an outcry came from the mountain-dwelling residents: they demanded that factories not be built in Cypress Creek anymore because the air quality was becoming horrendous.  The support these cries garnered from the general population kept Mayor Michele from dismissing these demands outright.  However, she explained, the city needed new industrial growth to support the city.  A compromise was made; the rest of the current industrial expansion would be primarily cleaner industries that were beginning to knock at the doors of the city.  It was then that Jason realized that a crucial component of the city was missing: a seaport.  This critical link to the outside world would open the doors to even more financial gains.  Cypress Creek's first port was opened as the industrial sector expanded.

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Yet this wasn't enough for Mayor Michele.  Riding on the rapid growth of the city and the relatively high approval of her policy of growth (the cries for limiting expansion from the original residents notwithstanding), another large housing district was built to the east, along the Cypress River.  A court for the justice system was also erected in anticipation of the new arrivals.

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Jason had tried to warn Michele that the influx of residents would probably slow, but the mayor was undeterred.  She erected a new radio tower to further enhance communication with the outside world with the intent to attract even more people to the bustling new city in the middle of nowhere.

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When the area was opened for construction, the results of Mayor Michele's efforts became evident:

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There was not enough interest in the city anymore to continue growing as it had in the past few years.  Despite the lack of complete development, the influx of recent arrivals also brought with them another of the outside world's problems: overcrowding.  Insufficient capacity began to plague two important parts of Cypress Creek's public services, healthcare and public safety.  Nearly simultaneously, many local clinics' doctors began to strike and prisoners in police jails broke free of their cells.

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The public backlash was almost instantaneous.  The citizens cried out in a single voice that Mayor Michele needed to spend more money on them rather than horde it in the city bank!

Turning to her city planner, Michele said with great regret, "Our profits are going to suffer..."

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