Justin

Justin Holman is CEO of TerraSeer, where he leads efforts to develop cutting edge sales forecasting and inventory optimization technology for the Automotive Aftermarket. Prior to joining TerraSeer, Justin managed corporate consulting for the Strategy & Analytics division at MapInfo Corporation, leading major projects for retail clients including The Home Depot, Darden Restaurants, Bridgestone-Firestone, Sainsbury’s and New York & Company. Before that, Justin served as Vice President of Software Development at LogicTools, now part of IBM's supply chain application software group. Justin holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and an Executive Management certificate from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

17 Comments

  • richard 4 years ago

    Great thoughts, on both the problems of sales tax, and the suggestion of a Toll Booth. Growing up in Dallas, I can attest to the impact that tolls have on traffic patterns, and at the same time, the capacity of sprawl to sprawl nonetheless for the willing…see PLANO! In that case it made a really nice highway, and generated lots of cash – unfortunately not for general public use like your suggestion would.
    Plus the one issue that proponents of Sales Taxes always seem to forget is that it really does hit the low income disproportionately- whether it be a federal IRS-replacement version, or a more modest local one like this. I think some folks just pick the sales tax option because they can “stick it” to everyone, unlike property taxes that don’t directly impact renters etc.
    On a side note, I also wanted to commend your blog, in general. We’re looking to move to Pueblo (city, thanks very much) and I find the perspective and discussions here to be much more enlightening than anything else I’ve read trying to get a feel for living there. We’ve lived nearby before, in both Canon city and COS, but are trying to better understand life in Pueblo and your blog has been very helpful.

    • Justin 4 years ago

      Richard, thank you for the feedback! Yes, life in Pueblo will be a bit different. I love Canon City! And I think, culturally, Canon City is probably a bit closer to Pueblo than Springs. But, Pueblo will have a different feel. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns that I might be able to help address. Best wishes on your move! I hope you will be happy in Pueblo. Let me know when you’re ready for your first slopper! Cheers, J.

  • Chris Moran 4 years ago

    I love this idea!!

    I agree with you that Pueblo is an under-appreciated gem that represents an amazing value. We should do everything we can to encourage the revitalization of Pueblo’s core, and to discourage sprawl… and the diminished quality of life that comes with sprawl.

    Keep up the great work.

    I would gladly help promote these ideas, like the Highway 50 toll, improving Pueblo walkability, and other smart re-investments in our community.

    • Justin 4 years ago

      Thanks for the positive feedback, Chris!

  • Pueblo and CSU Need to Work Together | Geographical Perspectives 4 years ago

    […] in Colorado Springs and Denver. Do you want prosperity in Pueblo? Well, instead of building another Pueblo Exurban Wasteland residential development that creates a larger footprint for dwindling government resources to […]

  • The Solar Shuttle | Geographical Perspectives 4 years ago

    […] Renewal Authority’s proposed BID program. Or better yet, we could use funds collected from a toll plaza on Highway 50! I’m imagining a simple bus route (that could also serve as a connector for other bus routes) […]

  • Momentum is Building in Pueblo! | Geographical Perspectives 4 years ago

    […] Unfortunately, it looks to me like Denver is moving closer and closer to becoming the LA of the Mountain West. Pursuing growth for growth’s sake has consequences. You just can’t continue to issue construction permits everywhere. Pueblo still has an opportunity to prosper without following Denver’s unsustainable path of sprawl. Instead, Pueblo should look to examples of New Urbanism by promoting public transportation, walkable communities and urban growth boundaries to limit sprawl and a car-dependent culture. […]

  • Dave Brown 3 years ago

    Justin,

    I have really enjoyed your Pueblo blogs and they have helped to reinforce my own thoughts that it would be a good place to retire. I was born in Walsenburg, still have a lot of family in Huerfano County, and a lot of family who have lived in Pueblo off and on, so it’s not unfamiliar territory for me. Chances are my wife and I will call Pueblo home when retirement comes within the next couple of years.

    However, I have to take issue with your perspective on Pueblo West. I think this article is very much an expression of your own personality and values. I can tell from your writings that you enjoy high-density urban life. I truly understand your points about that lifestyle: being less car-dependent, the sense of history, the feeling of community, and the proximity to culture, restaurants, shopping, etc. But there are others of us who prefer a different lifestyle. I grew up without concrete: no curbs, gutters, sidewalks – actually very little pavement of any kind. Now, after decades of urban and suburban life, I am back on a dirt road, with not a square foot of concrete in sight (except for my garage floor). I love the feeling of real dirt under my feet; yes, it makes for more mud and dust, but for me it’s a fair trade-off. I love watching real native wild birds instead of “urban wildlife” consisting of pigeons, starlings, and house sparrows. I love being able to sit on my front and back porches knowing I’m not being watched from a half-dozen different directions. Give me a low-density life, close to the earth, without concrete.

    While I agree that the Pueblo West development was in many ways a debacle (I once owned a piece of property there), I would live there in a heartbeat. In addition to the values above, I love to fish; I would be on that lake all the time. Keep in mind that pretty much all of Pueblo was once barren desert, and many of the neighborhoods you enjoy so much were once outlying suburban developments. I’m sure the toll idea is tongue-in-cheek, but I think you’ve got it backwards: Folks coming in from outlying areas actually contribute positively to the Pueblo economy; they pay the same 7.5% sales tax and they are much less drain on city resources than are residents. If we put a toll booth on 50 West, why not one on I-25 South and catch all my Huerfano County relatives who drive to Pueblo once a week to go to the doctor, shop at Walmart, etc. Maybe one on 50 East, too, to catch those pesky Blende and Boone residents; there aren’t very many of them, but every buck helps! 😉

    Urban sprawl (e.g., Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas) is the direct result of booming economies. Pueblo is relatively devoid of sprawl for no reason other than that they have not been “cursed” with an economic boom in recent history.

    Again, I truly appreciate your good work. Just trying to point out that not everybody exactly shares your lifestyle values.

    • Justin 3 years ago

      Hi Dave, how dare you crash my blog with a thoughtful well-written argument to the contrary! 🙂
      You’re right to a certain extent but I think what Pueblo West represents sits somewhere between your low-density back-to-nature lifestyle, which I enjoy and admire quite a bit as well, and the urban, walk-able, higher density neighborhoods that my article advocates. And, despite your well-reasoned comments, I still think of this in-between density level as sprawl in a negative sense. I lived in Eugene, Oregon for about 11 years and, while there are problems there just like anywhere else, I think Eugene does a lot of things correctly. One of the many policies that maximizes both of our valued living environments is the establishment of urban growth boundaries. Cities are difficult to manage and if the infrastructure stretches too far in multiple directions it becomes even more difficult and a lot more expensive for taxpayers. By containing housing development within a fixed boundary the city of Eugene is able to plan and maintain infrastructure more effectively. Like you, many people prefer “country” living – closer to nature, further from crowds, etc. Outside of Eugene’s urban growth boundaries in Lane County land parcels must be a minimum of 5 acres in size (if I recall correctly). This works well because it prevents new construction from encroaching on property where owners want to retain privacy and it creates a very pleasant countryside where nature has room to stretch out. The problem I have with Pueblo West is that it tries to accommodate both sides of the coin and, in my opinion, fails on both counts. Even if it succeeds for its many residents who enjoy living there, it does so, generally, at Pueblo’s expense. Cheap land and new construction attracts home buyers and reduces investment in Pueblo’s urban core. As a result, city property values suffer along with public schools and other city services dependent on property tax revenues. It’s the same hollowing out of the core that has occurred in several of the cities you’ve mentioned. Growth extends outward until the sprawl and associated traffic become nearly unbearable and only then does investment begin to move back into downtown urban areas. Is that going to be the plan for Pueblo? Wait decades for sprawl to make life in Pueblo County so annoying that people begin to reconsider neighborhoods closer to the city center? I hope not. People who live in outlying areas do indeed contribute to the local economy by paying sales taxes when they visit/shop in town but when you take into consideration the additional expenses required to manage more than double the urban/suburban footprint, the loss of property value in town and the migration of higher income families to the periphery leaving the city core to deal with those on the lower end, the resulting configuration is bad news for all residents in the area. Why? Because everyone then must pay more for local government and both of us (back to nature types and new urban types) have less healthy habitat in which to dwell.
      In any case, thank you Dave for the very thoughtful comments. I agree this post is an expression of my own values. But, it’s not the case that I have a problem with those who desire low-density living. I just wish our land-use regulations would better protect city-slickers and country-folk alike.
      Best wishes,
      Justin

  • Dave Brown 3 years ago

    Thanks Justin. Yes, I have also lived in Eugene… and Springfield, and Santa Clara. But you’re absolutely right: it’s your blog. 😉

    To shift gears, can I ask a quick question? You own rental properties; is Pueblo a good market for that? I know home prices are relatively cheap, but are good renters easy to come by?

    • Justin 3 years ago

      Yes, in my opinion Pueblo is an excellent market for rental properties. Good renters aren’t *easy* to come by but there are plenty of good tenants in the market if you’re patient and screen carefully.

      • Dave Brown 3 years ago

        Thank you again Justin.
        I think I’ll give it a try!
        All the best,
        Dave

        • Justin 3 years ago

          Sounds good, Dave. Let me know if you want to grab a coffee and talk real estate when you’re in town. Best wishes, Justin

          • Dave 2 years ago

            Justin,

            Just thought I’d let you know: It took us a little over a year, but we are now residents of Pueblo. Despite my affinity for Pueblo West (above), I am but a junior member of a two-person partnership; my wife wanted to live in the city, so we now live in the city of Pueblo. 😉

            We tended to agree with your favorite neighborhoods and tried hard to buy in one of them, but nothing seemed to come together for us. Had a contract on a home we loved in Sunset Park, but the seller ended up backing out. That set us back just at a time the market was rapidly heating up and we really had to scramble. We ended up with a nice house in Northridge. It’s a bit “suburban,” but overall we really like it here.

            Is that your business next door to Mexi Deli? Just putting 2 & 2 together I’m guessing that’s it. Maybe I’ll stop in and say hello one of these days.

            You were influential in our decision to move here, and we appreciate all the information you have provided. No regrets so far!

            Dave Brown

            • Justin 2 years ago

              Hi Dave! Welcome to Pueblo! Glad to hear things worked out for you and that I helped a bit along the way. We’re practically neighbors if you’re in Northridge. If you’re referring to my liquor store business, it’s not far from Mexi Deli but it’s not next door. Also, it’s no longer my business (sold last year) so you won’t find me if you pop in. The real estate market is indeed heating up. I’ve heard of homes selling within 24 hours with multiple offers. Good sign for Pueblo. Hope the momentum continues! Thanks for joining the community! Best wishes, Justin

  • Why do you hate Pueblo West? | Geographical Perspectives 1 year ago

    […] written a few blog posts that aren’t terribly flattering. One post in particular (Funding the City of Pueblo) in which I suggest setting up a toll booth for inbound traffic on Highway 50, later published by […]

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