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May 25, 2012

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Billy Jones

The ticket tax has been available for years but now they decide to use it: "In other words: "the city has failed to take advantage of a huge funding option it has had for years. Goes a long way towards instilling confidence, don't you think?"

But that's not all:

"...the problems don't end there. The proposed tax is on venues of 2,800 to 4,000 seats. This pretty much assures a Greensboro PAC will have at least 2800 seats even, if like many have suggested, 2800 seats might be too large for Greensboro."

How much worse can local governance get?

Stephen

Does it bother anyone that $100,000 per year is being spent to give prizes to employees who don't quit or get fired????

That bothers me.

bubba

"How much worse can local governance get?"

Hide and watch.

Billy Jones

Stephen, It's not the perks so much that bother me as the outright waste and squandering of local resources used to benefit a few well connected developers.

Bubba, Stop it, you're scaring me! ;-)

SAL LEONE

I agree with Stephen and think the reward policy for doing your job is a little much. The council needs to remember the state of the city, money here and there adds up. The other thing I found funny is the crime reduction memo, I just don't see crime down but numbers can be played with. The other problem I have is adding the $3.00 tax to tickets, what is next. The idea of taxing people to death has to stop, lets first stop wasting money then we can see what we need. I would like to see an Arts center but if we can not afford it then maybe next year.

Gerry Alfano

As a retired city employee, I doubt that most city employees are interested in receiving certificates for years of service. I don't think most employees would display them or have any other use for them, so it would definitely be a waste of money. I did receive a really nice plaque when I retired, but I didn't have any use for it. I was really surprised that the recognition breakfast for retirees cost $10,000. It was nice breakfast, but I don't think there were more than 150 people there and it wasn't a gourmet meal.

As a city tax payer, I am more concerned about the money that the city spends on longevity pay for staff. Rashad Young did eliminate the program for new employees, but it still exists for the staff who were hired before the date it was eliminated. It is a percentage of your salary, based on years of service. It amounts to a substantial bonus for a city employee with lots of years of service and a high salary.

Triadwatch

So if the numbers are correct the breakfast cost taxpayers $66 per person. That could be a candidate for guilford county version of citizens against government waste.

SAL LEONE

I think we need to elect an accountant to the council.

Billy Jones

"I think we need to elect an accountant to the council."

We had one-- they ran him off 'cause he made sense.

SAL LEONE

I am looking forward to the budget this year and see how it compares to last year. The blame for Mayor Knight leaving is with the people, lots of people stayed home during the elction.

Ron

2,800 seats is not too large. Its only 500 more seats than War Memorial Auditorium and you can expect more people will attend events at the new facility in downtown Greensboro. (This happened with the new ballpark) This PAC will be another jewel in Greensboro's crown and this will be a pretty big deal for downtown Greensboro. It will attract more restaurants and further investment in the urban core. I don't care how we get this thing built, as long as it gets built. If we can build it without or limited tax payer dollar, then great. Some people are against the PAC for the same reasons they were against the ballpark and the Aquatic Center and in both cases the naysayers were proven wrong. This city would be on a road to nowhere if these people had their way in this city. Thank goodness we finally have a new generation who wants to push Greensboro forward instead of holding the city back. North Carolina is becoming more and more progressive especially with all the Yankees moving down here.

Billy Jones

Ron,
How can you know that 2800 seats isn't too large when in-fact, no study has been done to determine how large the PAC needs to be?

The issue with the ballpark was that we rightly feared the historic memorial park would end up being neglected and allowed to crumble. Guess what? We were right, it's been 8 years and nothing has been done to save the old park.

As for the Aquatic Center-- time will tell but thus far the Aquatic Center hasn't pulled the numbers we were promised.

And progressive ain't got a damned thing to do with it. The issue is sustainability and Greensboro's leaders, with the help of shills like yourself, are doing their best to push us in the direction of Detroit.

Billy Jones

PS. The Durham Performing Arts Center only has 2700 seats and not every seat has a clear view of the stage. How do I know that to be true? I went there and saw it for myself.

ron

"As for the Aquatic Center-- time will tell but thus far the Aquatic Center hasn't pulled the numbers we were promised"

I'd say the Aquatic Center has exceeded expectations. The center is attracting major swim events which helps put Greensboro on the map.

But it seem to me you only support the PAC if its built on Philips Ave.

Billy Jones

Ron wrote: "I'd say the Aquatic Center has exceeded expectations. The center is attracting major swim events which helps put Greensboro on the map."

Show us the money. Attracting events is one thing but the money hasn't come.

Ron continued, "But it seem to me you only support the PAC if its built on Philips Ave."

Phillips Ave will get my vote. This location will get my vote. Any of a dozen other locations might get my vote. But neither downtown nor the Coliseum Complex will EVER get my vote.

Perhaps Greensboro should have multiple PACs like say, Detroit which has over a dozen PACs in the city proper and that many more in the burbs. And none of them as large as what is being proposed for downtown Greensboro.

ron

Ok is Mr Issac Cain living in a dream world or is everyone ignoring him for some reason. He just updated his website and said he is now ready to make a deal on a piece of downtown property for phase one of his Greensboro Triumph Center which includes a performing arts center. If this guy really has private financial backing, why isn't he at the table considering the community is working overtime to secure private investment?

from his website:

"The single purpose entity Triumph Center Development Inc. formed by Exempt Inc. is now hoping to make a deal on one key piece of property, if negotiations are successful then we believe the city will be pleased with this strategic location. Once we get an agreement on this particular parcel of land then we can immediately order the feasibility study to get a financial assessment of the project on the lot that was selected. If the study comes back favorable we will be in a position to move capital into developing Phase one of the project. The Investor has set up an account at their brokerage firm for the JV with an initial $15,000,000 in position to purchase securities as collateral against a loan for the project. Triumph Center Development Inc. has opened an account at Morgan Stanley Smith and Barney, to facilitate the transaction for liquidity. This upfront capital will be used to finance all the pre-development expenses. We are in communications with Madison Marquette as a third party Development Consultant for the project, as we form the development team that will communicate the project to the city and the appropriate officials. The Triumph Center Development Inc. is raising capital to fund the entire phase one of the project.

The feasibility study will determine what Hilton Brand to put at the location assuming the feasibility was successful. We have chosen Strand Development as the hotel management experts. The concert hall will be managed by a private management firm. We have already spoken to the third party development firm to be the liaison between the project, the city , and the construction management firm of, Skanska International. The construction company will have to resubmit a proposal for this opportunity. The third party development consultant will be key in negotiating the terms that will fit into our pricing model, as we will prepare the architectural renderings and present these plans with side elevation for the public to review."

source:

http://www.greensborotriumphcenter.info/Project_Specifications.html


Billy explain to everyone why downtown isn't a good location.

ron

The funny thing is not only is everyone ignoring Mr Cain but he seems to be ignoring separate plans for a performing arts center which would use at least some taxpayer dollars. If this thing fails, people might not be so quick to ignore him if this guys has a serious proposal with banks ready to finance it. I understand his methods of communicating his project is a bit unusual considering most developers don't flash all the behind the scenes details about their project and maybe he doesn't have the most professional website, but i'm ready to ignore all that if bank are seriously ready to finance his project. Under his plan no tax dollars would be used to build the performing arts center. Because its a mixed-use project he could make the financial numbers work.

bubba

"I'd say the Aquatic Center has exceeded expectations. The center is attracting major swim events which helps put Greensboro on the map."

I'd say the chances of the aquatic center's finances being nothing more than just one more example of the Matt Brown Perpetual Public Money Hole are excellent.

Arnold should be along any time now to tell us about the wonders of Multiples, by golly, and of several other Krugmanite/Central Planner fairy tales that supposedly support the unsupportable More/Better Spending meme he's so fond of propping up.

Billy Jones

Ron wrote: "Ok is Mr Issac Cain living in a dream world or is everyone ignoring him for some reason."

Seriously, Issac Cain again? If the man really has the money to build a PAC then he doesn't need approval-- all he needs do is buy the land, have engineers draw up the plans, pay the fee for a building permit and start building. If he's real and does things in that order there is no legal way to stop him. So obviously Cain is blowing smoke.

Ron asked, "Billy explain to everyone why downtown isn't a good location."

That has never been my argument. My argument is and has always been that other Greensboro neighborhoods have long suffered so that a few well connected developers can prosper-- it's time the City of Greensboro invested in our neighborhoods and the best way to invest in our neighborhoods is to share the gems instead of putting everything in a downtown vault.

Here a little tip for you Ron, read the 107 articles and counting that I've posted to date and try to come up with a question I've not already answered countless times. Maybe, if you work really hard you might come up with a question I can't answer. But I seriously doubt you're that smart.

And please, keep giving me excuses to prove you wrong as every time your fingers tickle the keyboard my arguments become stronger.

Billy Jones

PS. More on Cain here and here. Notice that Cain's company has been closed down by the State of North Carolina. Perhaps that's why he's not being taken seriously?

ron

Billy it appears that Mr Cain said on his website that he is getting prepared to do exactly what you just said. As for him closing his company down, apparently that was done before he first proposed the Greensboro Triumph Center back in the summer of 2007. Obviously his company is back in operation. I say give the guy a chance. Just because he doesn't exactly fit the mold of a typical developer, that doesn't mean he is not capable. Besides hes bringing in other firms and well respected development consultants to help him with the project. I say give the guy a chance because you never know what may happen. I would give any developer a chance if they can pull off privately constructing a PAC along with private operation. Why would anyone prefer taking a path of spending $30 million on construction and having the city operate it? If it has to happen that way I'll support it because I believe this facility is that important. But given the choice between public and private financing, its a no brainer.

Billy just because you want to see other neighborhoods revitalized, does that mean you have to be against projects proposed for downtown? There are many other opportunities that better fit these neighborhood. A performing arts center is not a perfect fit in a residential neighborhood, particularly a low income neighborhood. I studied architecture and urban planning so I know what i'm talking about. If you are so interesting in redevelopment of the neighborhood, why not push for a grocery store and retail which better serves the neighborhood?

ron

BTW If I were Mr Cain and I were being snubbed by the city of Greensboro, I'd go over to Winston-Salem and work with them to build my project. Winston-Salem isn't going to pass up any opportunity to get one over on Greensboro.

Billy Jones

Ron, Ron, Ron, have you been drinking again? I'm not stopping Mr Cain from building a PAC and neither is anyone else. If Cain has the money then he doesn't need our approval-- his property rights as protected by the US Bill of Rights affords him the chance to build a PAC on property he owns irrespective of what I or anyone else would prefer. If Cain has the money then let him build it.

Problem is: like you, Cain is begging for money he doesn't have. Subbed by Greensboro? Hardly. If Cain builds a privately funded PAC in Greensboro then it's a done deal and there's no need to discuss the building of a taxpayer funded PAC.

Ron wrote" "Billy just because you want to see other neighborhoods revitalized, does that mean you have to be against projects proposed for downtown? There are many other opportunities that better fit these neighborhood."

You really are dense, aren't you? I covered that months ago. Now go drink a few more rounds so you can ask some more dumb questions.

Ron continued, "A performing arts center is not a perfect fit in a residential neighborhood, particularly a low income neighborhood. I studied architecture and urban planning so I know what i'm talking about. If you are so interesting in redevelopment of the neighborhood, why not push for a grocery store and retail which better serves the neighborhood?"

And seriously, you dare bring up racism and classim again? Well here's a gem you forgot college boy.

PS. I studied architecture, civil engineering and structural engineering while you were still in diapers.

Mick

GAC?

What numbers were you promised Billy? How have they not been met? And... how do you know?

SAL LEONE

HI
I hope we all can get along here, I see or should say read that some are cutting each other up over the arts center. I say lets be good to each other and agree that we might not always agree. I would love to see a arts center and location is key along with a good structure of a building. I say if a private developer wants to build it, then let him. I think private can always do better then gov't.

Gerry Alfano

"I think private can always do better then gov't."

Not true, Sal. Government can do some things well and private can really screw up. Some of the best projects have been done by public/private partnerships. The mantra invoked by many conservatives that the government is always wrong and the private sector is always right has been proven wrong over and over again. Cape Hatteras is an example of the government doing it right and private doing it wrong. All you have to do is compare Nags Head and other areas that have been privately developed to the National Seashore. If I am not mistaken, the National Seashore was established during the Eisenhower administration. If private developers had been given free reign, the entire cape would be built up and many more homes would be falling into the ocean.

Mick

You mean the Cape Hatteras area that is currently closed to human traverse by vehicle or by foot? That one?

But, the point is well taken.


Mick

No pun intended.

Billy Jones

Mic wrote: "GAC?

What numbers were you promised Billy? How have they not been met? And... how do you know?"

Okay, you got me on that one-- I didn't do my homework and repeated something I read elsewhere.....

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