Friday, March 20, 2009

Is the City Council Irrelevant?

Yesterday, Funkhouser went ahead and signed the ordinance extending the TIF package for the Savoy Hotel. While I criticized the extension here yesterday, and I questioned the good faith of the Council, the developer and even the developer's lawyer, it turns out that the only party truly deserving of scorn on this issue is the Council.

The developer, developer's attorney, Funkhouser and the other taxing districts went ahead and worked out a better deal without the Council, rendering irrelevant the Council's attempt to actually harm our city. Actually, as Mark Forsythe correctly pointed out the other day, they had already worked out a better deal before the City Council followed joined in Terry's Terrible Temper Tantrum and, incredibly, approved a worse deal for the city than was already on the table!

Truthfully, they went ahead and approved an ordinance that was worse than the developer had actually agreed to, just because Terry Riley was angry that someone else had negotiated the deal!
Is that the sort of person you voted for?

Fortunately, the adults fixed the situation. Through written, good faith agreements apart from the Council, the developer agreed to do the right thing, whether the Council cares about the good of the city or not. Thank goodness Funkhouser worked with them to make it all come out okay.

Meanwhile, city hall observers are left to smirk at the Council's behavior. The more juvenile members of the Council have been claiming lately that the Mayor is "irrelevant", just because they don't talk to him much. Sadly, the Council is becoming Junior High at its worst, with cliques excluding others on the Council and bragging about it to the rest.

If Mark were the sort to join in those games, he would be out whispering to others that the Council is "irrelevant", and snickering at the silly ones who joined in Riley's malfeasance.

But he won't do that.

Instead, he realizes that the Council remains very relevant, and capable of much more mischief in the future. In this instance, he managed to prevent them from bringing as much harm to the City as they attempted, but he knows we are still burdened with Cauthen for a couple years because of their immature behavior. Alas, the City Council may be outsmarted on occasion, but they are not irrelevant. Fortunately, neither is the Mayor.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funk is irrelavent, on a good day. Gloria is the Princess of Darkness.

3/20/2009 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your earlier post, you did not give a specific set of reasons for opposing the Savoy TIF.

If I missed something, please clarify.

In this post you seem to indicate something has changed about the deal which makes it acceptable.

But you didn't say specifically what had changed.

Can you provide, specifically, what was objectionable previously, and what was changed to make the Savoy TIF acceptable?

The development project itself and it's objecives have not changed -and it is still publicly subsidized via the TIF.

I'm lost.

3/20/2009 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will help. Hotels make terrible TIF's becasue unless its a convention or a destination hybrid, hotels only steal from other hotels. Most people staying at the new Savoy would by staying at other downtown hotels if it didnt get renovated. There is no incremental revenue produced. And in theory, the existing hotels must lower their rates to counter the additional rooms and the city actually takes in less revenue.

You can apply the above to most retail too. All you are doing is moving pieces from one location to another.

3/21/2009 11:58 PM  

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