the Controversial Committee Report
“We don’t raise sacred cows...we just butcher them.”
Generally, staff of the CCR doesn’t respond to insipid e-mails. However, when one arrives that actually appears to be questioning facts that have been incorporated into our missives, we cannot resist the urge to pen a response.
What follows is the unaltered and unedited e-mail received from one of the six council members that continues to pontificate and push the grossly flawed $250 million Entertainment Center financial agreement with LCG down tax payer’s throats. Notice, this is one of the very minor items recently noted in a CCR report. The major financial flaws of the agreement that have also been documented in prior reports regarding the LCG were not tackled by this e-mail sender.
From: Rose <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FW: CCR 04-06-12: Can You Hear Us Now?
Date: April 8, 2012 11:55:11 PM CDT
To: Mark Holbrook <email@example.com>
You are giving “stupid” a bad name. You are no better than the other mouth pieces that rant and rave without bothering to check facts. Why let facts get into your way of writing another hate message. By the way, the 60-40 does cover the EV. Check it out.
Staff of the CCR probably deserves any and all barbs slung our way, but we find it difficult when an elected official attempts to spin genuine facts to suit their purpose. And with the above note, this seems to be the case. Once again, the following facts have been included in the CCR concerning the current lease agreement with Las Colinas Group.
The following was reflected in the 2-25-12 CCR report:
- Restaurants not complying with the city’s 60/40 alcoholic beverage ordinance can not be shut down due to non-compliance.
The following was reflected in the 4-6-12 CCR report:
- Developer does not have to comply with the city’s 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance.
Since staff of the CCR has actually read the LCG agreement and other materials related to compliance with the city’s 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance, perhaps Councilwoman Cannaday might be interested in reading the following:
The on-premise storage, possession, sale, serving, and consumption of any alcoholic beverage is authorized and permitted use as an accessory use in any city-owned facilities whose construction or operation is funded in whole or in part by hotel occupancy tax revenue. The on-premise storage, possession, sale, serving, and consumption of any alcoholic beverage in any city-owned facility whose construction or operation is funded in whole or in part by hotel occupancy tax revenue, is an exception to the provisions of subsection 52-49(a). [Ordinance #2983, Passed and Approved by the Irving City Council on October 22, 2009]
Does all this mean the developer does not have to comply with the city’s 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance? Are restaurants in the Entertainment Center held accountable for non-compliance by the city? Are there any other restaurants in the city outside the Entertainment Center that can utilize this exception that was not approved by the city’s voters? Can the city shut down an Entertainment Center restaurant for non-compliance? The answers are: YES, NO, NO and NO.
Does this really sound like the developer must comply with the 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance that voters approved for all restaurants in the city? Hardly! So, the answer must be NO, the developer does not have to comply.
As any casual reader or non-stupid person could surmise, the council has approved an exemption/exception/benefit to the developer of the Entertainment Center that was not voted on or approved by voters responsible for implementing the city’s 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance. If a restaurant in the Entertainment Center does not comply with the city’s 60/40 ordinance, the developer can merely pay a fine and the restaurant continues in business. Other restaurants in the city could be shut down for non-compliance.
So, we are back to the original question posed in the e-mail. Does the developer actually have to comply with the city’s 60/40 alcohol zoning ordinance? And the correct non-spin, un-fluffy and indisputable response is NO. One cannot state that the developer is complying with the city’s ordinance when they have been provided with special favor, consideration and exemption that could allow their restaurants to be in non-compliance. And this exemption provided to the developer unduly affects all other restaurants operating in the city.
At this time, staff of the CCR would suggest that Councilwoman Cannaday check her facts before hitting the e-mail send key. We stand by the facts noted in the reports she questioned.
As a post script, maybe the CCR does ‘rant and rave’ regarding issues that effect all the hard working tax payers in the city. Maybe some do consider us a ‘mouth piece’ for shining light on topics and issues that others would not want to see the light of day. And staff of the CCR has admitted that some readers may not appreciate our choice of words describing events or individuals on occasions. Mea Culpa!
With all that being true, the staff of the CCR will consistently defend factual items contained in the reports. As usual, we will correct any factual mistakes that might accidentally creep into a report. The reports are opinions and are not designed to win friends or curry favors with elected officials. Rather, we would hope to spur readers to be active in all that occurs in beautiful downtown Irving...formerly known as McDougalville.