Saturday, January 22, 2011

CCR 01-22-11 McDougalville Shrinks

the Controversial Committee Report

“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”

The Incredible Shrinking McDougalville

Problem solved! For the last couple of years, staff of the CCR has attempted to unlock a mysterious kinship. And an upcoming action by the Irving city council might prove our flimsy hypothesis: Delbert McDougal is actually Billy Bob Barnett’s twin brother separated at birth.

Really, what else could explain the parental, fiscal-teething and nursing the city council has been providing these two individuals as they suckle on the tax payers teat...otherwise known as the City Council ATM machine. Talk about two kids never having any wants! And you wonder why they are spoiled?

However, it should be considered that McDougal might be the runt of this city litter. After all, the city has gone on the hook for just $33 million in his scheme to convert the old downtown area into the revitalized Garden of Eden Imagination. Billy Bob, on the other hand, has already zipped through $23 million for the $250 million Entertainment Center utilizing voodoo financing. Delbert keeps hoping for a Lubbock dust storm to strike the old downtown area to prove that his development has turned some dirt in Heritage Crossing. And Billy Bob still needs to go to Judge Judy’s court to have his voodoo financing approved.

Of course, the city council is not a single parent with the Heritage Crossing problem child. Irving’s Capo of the Lubbock Mafia (the city manager) still “calls the shots” for this parenting project. (Note: In this PC world of today, the last phrase should not be an indicator for, granting permission to, or even an acknowledgement of using 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms in this situation. This note is for all our less conservative friends who believe that a 6-shooter is six shot glasses of Tequila lined up on a bar and drunk in rapid succession while reading the New York Times.)

Also, for new readers of the electronic version of the CCR, the Irving city manager, chamber of commerce president and McDougal all have past business ties and dealings in Lubbock, Texas. And now they are involved -- either directly or indirectly -- in the concept, promotion or development of McDougalville...otherwise known as the Heritage Crossing. This project started in September, 2006 with a Memorandum of Understanding and has grown to a $33 million land grab with no physical construction in sight. (Sorry, the new McDonald’s is neither historical or part of the McDougalville plan.) Do you think anyone’s understanding in the Memorandum of Understanding reflected that actual buildings would be constructed?

The latest welfare withdrawal for McDougalville will probably appear on the February 3rd council meeting. The council will be poised to buy ANOTHER piece of property from McDougal. For those with a short attention span, remember the last time the council and Lubbock Mafia performed this exercise of developer-welfare? The purchase price went from $800,000+ to $600,000+ to the $400,000 + that McDougal required to pay a bank note that was due. The council stated that tax payer funds were not involved in buying this parcel. The property was purchased with “grant” money. Where do the Bobbleheads think the “grant tree” gets its bucks...if not from tax payers? But we digress.

In this latest land scam, the Capo sent his enforcer to a recent meeting of the Heritage Crossing Communications Committee. Only one problem. The Capo’s enforcer told the committee what was going to be done and which property was going to be purchased. Committee members -- many with higher IQs than a mafia enforcer -- posed some serious questions like: 1) Can we see the appraisal for the property being purchase? 2) What plans does the city have for this property? 3) Why is the committee being used as the “approval” board for the Lubbock Mafia? 4) Is this approval necessary to make the deal a softer sell for the general publics’ consumption and to shield the Lubbock Mafia from criticism? 5) Isn’t the price for this property a little extreme? 6) And does McDougal have another note due that requires a city bailout? To all inquiries, the Capo’s enforce said: Forgetaboutit. So much for communication in a communications committee meeting! On the bright side for McDougalville, the enforcer did his Capo proud.

Another reasonable question: If the council keeps buying land back from McDougal, then what is going to be left for him to develop? After all, the council is paying $100,000+ a year (plus expenses) for him to do something!

One thing that shouldn’t be done by citizens in this instance is to call for an audit engagement report of the city’s outlay of cash/credit/loans/expenses for McDougalville. To do so would only cause the Capo to spend another $70,000+ for a flimsy report like the one provided for the Entertainment Center project. The Capo would find another firm that would take the word of “unnamed city employees” to respond that all questionable expenses were acceptable. And if that didn’t work, a new “confidentially agreement” for city employees could be instituted for omertá purposes. And we know that city employees are fearful of the Capo when it comes to discussing city business, since they don’t want to end up sleeping with the fishes!

A reader sez:

“Good report! It’s funny and filled with facts that ring true, this time.” Anonymous

We Say: Never let a fact get in the way of making a good point. MH