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« Rumble | Main | Saving the bankers from themselves »

Jan 27, 2010

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Fec the Terrible

You were warned.

Sedge

This is the time for Bill Knight to show some leadership. No, the Council's vote did not include a vote on local monies yet, but the vote did end up putting this project at the top of the list to get most, if not all of the federal bond money, and many council members have stated they did not realize this when voting. Thank goodness for Nancy Vaughan to not be afraid of Skip Alston's same old, tired scare tactics that too many people have fallen prey to for so long. It's time for our city and county elected officials to do their jobs and make sure this project is feasible, not to mention educate themselves on these federal monies and put some guidelines in place.

Joe Guarino

Before we get too excited, we should remember what the real test will be.

We need to see if Vaughan-- or any council member, for that matter-- will muster the gumption to make a motion to reconsider, or to second such a motion.

At this particular time, it appears doubtful, unless there is something brewing of which we are unaware. "Tim" might have been right about that.

Jordan Green

Joe, I've talked to two council members today, both of whom said the answer to your question is, no. The one who went on the record saying the council wouldn't reconsider the item was Danny Thompson.

glenwoodobserver

I hope those that won't reconsider will do more than just say "no", that they will, for the record, explain why they don't think it is necessary to reconsider their votes in light of the information that came to light post Dec. 15. Ignoring the issue doesn't make it go away. Addressing it right now just might.

Jordan Green

Thompson says he will explain his decision, and did so for my benefit. He said from talking to state officials, he concluded that the city council had three obligations: 1) Determine whether the projects are in a recovery zone area, 2)Determine whether the projects are "shovel ready", and 3) Determine whether the projects would create at least one new job above and beyond construction. Since all the projects met those requirements, Thompson said the council has no additional responsibilities. He told me he plans to use his "three and a half minutes" at the council meeting next Tuesday to explain his reasons.

Joe Killian

The mayor also says it's not being reconsidered - he's on record in the N&R piece up at our site now.

Joe Guarino

The question is whether the council is prohibited from reconsidering the matter for reasons its members may deem appropriate. Somehow, I doubt that.

Sedge

Wow - how very disappointing. So is it true then that this project will get the bulk of the recovery funds/bonds and the other projects will have to wait? Isn't that something they should vote on again since they were misinformed and just plain ignorant. Haven't some cities also put in place additional guidelines for these bonds such as elected officials cannot get involved in the projects and personally benefit? So Greensboro could do more and make the process more efficient and structured, but they are choosing not to? So if the project is not feasible and in the long run doesn't meet the goals set, then Danny Thompson's excuse will be "the council had no additional responsibilities?" That's great leadership.

Spag

The City is NOT obligated to go through with the project. They can always waive their allocation "at any time".

After considering all of the arguments and facts that have come forward, I have mixed feelings about the project myself. I haven't been convinced it is a good decision, but the risk is ultimately on the bank that underwrites the bonds, not the public. However, we have already seen what happens when banks take on risky ventures.

Perhaps the money/bonds would be better utilized by the City elsewhere, but that is no longer a realistic option. Perhaps it makes better sense to not use them at all and let another municipality put them to better use.

glenwoodobserver

Can anyone confirm whether or not the city can partially waive the allocation - meaning it can waive the hotel portion but keep the Miller Lofts and Deep Roots components? If so, I like that option for the message it sends to the hotel proponents for irresponsibly proposing a project that isn't viable. If not, then we really ought to let all three move forward and let the LGC and bond markets do their due diligence on these individual projects.

Tony Wilkins

No wonder High Point gave their $7M back with a Sarah Palin "thanks but no thanks".

Spag

"(3) A Recipient may at any time file a Notice of Intent (i) waiving its Allocation to the State (which may include a designation of a project in another jurisdiction) or (ii) requesting a Reallocation."

Further, there is no requirement that the bonds be issued. If they aren't issued by April 15, they are waived. The City could decline to issue them and I see no reason why they couldn't issue some but not others.

Brandon Burgess

Is this project "shovel ready". Was it mis-represented to elected officials as shovel ready?

hugh

"Determine whether the projects would create at least one new job above and beyond construction."

Typical Government mentality. The criteria is ONE job.

Joe Guarino

Hugh, that is one of the reasons some suspect the recovery zone bond program was intended as a vehicle for Obama to pay off his supporters and political allies. One job is an economic stimulus?

Jordan Green

Hugh and Joe: Don't leave out the part in this equation about one job ABOVE AND BEYOND THE MANY TEMPORARY CONSTRUCTION JOBS.

hugh

Yep, Jordan, the operative word is TEMPORARY.

Roch101

"Hugh, that is one of the reasons some suspect the recovery zone bond program was intended as a vehicle for Obama to pay off his supporters and political allies." -- JG

Which explains why our newly Republican-dominated city council authorized these bonds because they are... uh, wait a minute. Uh, let me get back to you on this one...

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