Friday, March 23, 2012

ER #37: Arrivederci

City Hall Elevator Rumblings #37

Rider #1: Do you think Irving’s Capo (city manager) of the Lubbock Mafia is happy today? Opening his eyes this morning, he didn’t have a horse head in his bed, or a fish gift wrapped in the Dallas Morning News from Lubbock’s godfather (Delbert McDougal).

Rider #2: I’m sure the Capo will be celebrating. After all, the godfather got all that he wanted and leaves the city much as he found it...except for a new McDonalds and Burger King. Besides, look at all the loot he banked from consulting fees and commissions from buying/selling Heritage District property while stationed in a $3,500/month condo in Las Colinas. Not only did he make out like a bandit, but the city manager and council always kissed his ring by granting his every request...sans receipts.

Rider #1: So now, the city is on the hook for nearly $34 million bucks, and they own property that McDougal purchased which is valued at less than $9 million. When the Capo attempted to spin an ‘increase‘ in the appraised value of the McDougal property to $13 million last night -- during his mismanagement justification-tirade -- didn’t he apparently included land values for parcels that the city and/or McDougal had purchased in their names? This could have been his feeble attempt to make the ‘pesky’ watchdogs and news media appear that they didn’t know what they were talking about when discussing property values.

Rider #2: That’s right. He was just shoveling more sand in a litter box that already reeked to high heaven over this venture. And another point that should be considered is what an incumbent council member, running for re-election, has reflected. In a political forum, he apparently was spinning inaccuracies about a local blog noting that $2+ million was not being considered to pay McDougal for property he purchased with a loan from a Lubbock bank. It is clear now that -- added in the total amount of money the city is on the hook for -- the $2+ million piece of personal McDougal property was included in the city’s resolution.

Rider #1: Well, now that this fiscal fiasco has run its course, we can divert 100% of our attention to the other elephant in the room...the $250 million Entertainment Center.

Rider #2: I agree. The decisions this council has made will certainly be reflected when the 2013 city budget is prepared. There will be several new expense streams flowing for the first time to cover all the blundering and doddering by the city manager and council. Guess this is what happens when they attempt to appease special interest groups and developers. Wonder what the property tax rate for homeowners will increase to next year?

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