Thursday, January 19, 2012

ER #28: Bad Odds

City Hall Elevator Rumblings #28

Rider #1: Wow! Did you receive one of those mailings ( ) that reflected how the city council is preparing to roll the dice and gamble on the massive debt for the $250 million Entertainment Center project?

Rider #2: Yes, I did. You have to wonder...what are at least six* of the council members thinking? This mailing is credible in that you never hear these six council members refuting any of the claims made. Instead, they continue to dance around the ‘elephant in the room’ (wanting to saddle tax payers with the Entertainment Center debt cost) in hopes that no one is paying attention. Not dealing with facts, they position anyone speaking against the $250 million project as being anti-Irving, weird, or just plain cranky.

Rider #1: How can six elected officials disregard sound advice from bond/financial advisors and place the city on a possible track to financial peril? I don’t think George C. Scott in the movie “The Flim-Flam Man” could pull off as slick a con job as Billy Bob has done with the council on this project.

Rider #2: No joke. I guess that Billy Bob spending over $1 million to finance city council campaigns, having a 100-year, no-liability (exposure to debt cost) lease on the project and utilizing ex-mayor Gears to lobby council members and others with the zeal of a Harry Hines hooker must be working. Money and special interest seems to talk and the council appears to be listening when it comes to this project.

Rider #1: Short of a citizen’s Junto, one has to wonder what it would really take for the Doddering ½Dozen* to come out of their unconscionable comma of fiscal recklessness and understand the impact that their actions could have on the property tax rate, the city’s AAA bond rating, and funding of the arts/convention center budgets if their revenues are double pledged for the Entertainment Center bonded debt.

Rider # 2: Well, even if voter’s memories are extra long when the next election cycle comes, it may be too late if the Doddering ½Dozen proceed in their attempt to sell $170 million in bonds for the $250 million Billy Bob Boondoggle. After all, when sound reasoning flies out the window, a vacuum occurs and special interest influence rushes in to fill this void. And this is what appears to be happening with the council moving to finance $170 million in debt.

* Stopfer, Cannaday, Santoscoy, Gallaway, Webb and Patrick

A note from counsel: These “candid” elevator conversations have been injected with fabricated nouns, verbs, adjectives, conjunctions, adverbs, modifiers and maybe a few dangling participles….Mark Holbrook