“Citizens Against…” calls Mayor Winnecke’s & Hunden’s statements highly questionable


Citizens Against

Evansville, September 17, 2013:

Written by: Brad Linzy and Posted by CCO, without opinion, bias and editing

 Since the stalled vetting process has made headlines, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke has made a couple statements our group finds highly questionable.

In a recent statement released by his office, the Mayor not only blamed Crowe Horwath for the stalled vetting process, but he nominated their successor – a company called Springsted. The problem with this is that this company has come to the attention of the Mayor by HCW themselves. In other words, the Mayor wishes for the Council to use the vetting firm HCW recommends while simultaneously defending their right to privacy, even from the City Council members.

Furthermore, the Mayor has for the second time released a statement by Rob Hunden calling our efforts to digest his 193-page report for public consumption “cherry-picking”, an accusation we find deeply offensive. In fact, most of our questions about the Hunden Study remain outstanding such as the Mayor’s assertion of 250 jobs created, rather than the 41-71 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs cited in Hunden, and the fact that anything beyond a 120-150 room hotel will require significant “future reinvestment”.

It is our firm belief this hotel vote should go ahead on September 23 – the next scheduled Council meeting. We have said for some time that regardless of the outcome of additional vetting, this deal is not in the best interests of the people of Evansville. We stand by that claim now more than ever. We further renew our call for the Mayor to withdraw support for this project and stop trotting out Rob Hunden to scare the people of Evansville with threats that if this deal falls through, the next deal will be 100% publicly funded. Hunden was hired to do a study of a 240-270 room hotel, not a study of the fiscal situation of the City of Evansville. Rob Hunden is not an expert on the fiscal situation of Evansville, therefore, he is in no position to offer up advice on what is best for the people of Evansville given their current fiscal situation.


  1. The bankers must be putting some pressure on the mayor. You know his old bosses at old national. The city issues the bonds and the banks come up with the 37 million and take the bonds as evidence of the debt. This is a scam as the new money is just bookkeeping entries. The bankers sit on their collective asses all day long and get richer on the interest. No one in their right mind would push this scam unless they were sure the people are too stupid to figure it all out.

      • renegad– It is to bad you do not realize how stupid you sound when you write something like this. Mayor did not work at old national bank, this is not a scam, bankers are not lazy, and there are some exceptions but most people are not stupid and want the best for our City.

  2. Brad–75% of the Evansville citizens want the convention hotel built as recommended by the Mayor.

    What do you mean by “Written by: Brad Linzy and Posted by CCO, without opinion, bias and editing” ?

    Who are you trying to kid? You are one of the people who control what goes into the CCO.

    • Then I’m in the 25% that don’t want my tax money given away
      Wayne if you and your buddies want it please cough up the 37.5 million needed and leave my money alone

    • Just to clarify, I have no editorial pull at CCO. I write and submit pieces for publication just like anyone else would. Joe Wallace is the Editor and Ron Cosby is the Owner. They added the disclaimer to my press release, which went out to all the local media and the City Council members. I am not a paid correspondent here and am no different than any other commenter.

      The main reason I’ve written so much lately is because of this hotel issue and because I happen to be an Admin on the “Citizens Against” page, which has almost the same number of likes as the Pro-Hotel page even though we’ve pretty much ceased trying to drive new traffic to the page. I’m not sure where you’re getting the 75% figure.

        • What difference does that make? My familial relations don’t mean I have sway over anyone or that anyone has sway over me. These men are intelligent individuals. They know how to say “no” if I submit something they’d rather not publish, and I’m not so immature as to think I’m entitled to space on their page. I’m grateful for the opportunity to publish some of my thoughts just like I know others have been here at CCO. I’m not unique.

      • To say you are just another commenter like everyone else I believe is a stretch. Are you related to the editor or owner?

        Anybody can comment even Ron Cosby himself.

        • Wayne, just a word of advice, making this about me won’t accomplish anything but making your side look desperate. We are debating a hotel here, not accidents of fate like who is related to whom.

          The source of my conservatism, if you must know, was my Papaw, who fought bravely in WWII in the US Navy, had not one, but TWO battleships sink from under him, who carried his first wife’s lifeless body 10 miles on horseback the night she passed away, who worked his fingers to the bone first on his family farm, then in the spar and coal mines for decades while fathering 7 children and countless grandchildren, leaving a legacy of frugality and common sense which he instilled in each and every one of us, who showed me what a REAL conservative, God-fearing man ought to look like. He did it not through his words, but through his EXAMPLE.

          I will struggle the rest of my days on this earth to emulate him and will be satisfied if I succeed in being HALF the man he was. That’s where I’m coming from. What about you?

        • Since Brad is not man enough to answer your question, I will. He is related to Joe Wallace. If Brad really believed it was not a big deal, he would have answered the question. After all the crap he gives everyone else for not answering his questions, his true colors come out.
          I guess the unofficial city council campaign has begun.

          • Calling someone unmanly or eluding to it, while hiding behind a screen name…isn’t that like calling the Kettle Black?

            And, so what if they are related… Maybe you should debate the points being made instead of trying to demonize the delivery of it.


    • “75% of the Evansville citizens want the convention hotel built as recommended by the Mayor.”

      Easy enough then; put it to a referendum.

      • Curious: It could be but a huge time delay. Other Cites may attract HCW in the meantime.

        • Wayne,

          I believe Earthcare Energy has already played that gambit–they were heading to South Carolina if we didn’t give them the $$$ now !

          Wouldn’t it be the other way around: HCW would attract the cities, and not vice versa ?

    • I’m not against a downtown hotel, I’m against what appears to be a horrible deal for anyone not getting kickbacks from this thing.

      • It is not a horrible deal. 50 % of the convention hotels built are 100% finance by public money.

        I do not believe anyone is getting kickbacks.

        • Wayne,

          Provide a list which shows all of the 100% publicly-financed hotels, along with results of operations and ROI to the Citizens, then let’s talk.

    • Wayne, can you provide any proof of your 75% claim? I’m guessing no, just like the Mayor can’t prove his claim of the 250 jobs.

      • BigPappa: If I did provide proof would you then support the Hotel?

        HCW gave out the 250 job number. They are the employer/hotel builder and gave a breakdown for the positions. Remember the facilities are more than just a hotel.

        The main purpose of the Hotel is to bring to town outside money through conventions. Other business in the downtown and surrounding areas area will benefit as well.

        • “HCW gave out the 250 job number” And there we have it. No independent firm or study suggested it just the company wanting a public “investment” for a hotel. Do you find it a little disturbing that Dunn’s construction and full time job figures for their complex are a fraction of that?

          • Dunn’s hotels are not full service hotels like the one being proposed downtown. Also other things that employ people that are affiliated with the proposed hotel would be built that are not in Dunn’s Hotels.

            To my knowledge Dunn’s Hotels are very good hotels for there intended design purpose.

    • Let those 75% in favor pay the 82 million {if they pay cash they can get by with 37.5 mil.} Since so many are in favor it shouldn’t be such a burden. We can count on you, can’t we? Everybody chant, Wayne! Wayne! Wayne!

      • onemeover: Fact: Evansville citizens property taxes are not going up to pay for the proposed hotel.

        • …unless the hotel fails to perform, in which case, the TIF revenues will be far less than expected and the shortfall will have to come from somewhere. Guess where that “somewhere” might be.

  3. wayne, are hotel rooms. food beverages and admissions to gaming boat taxed? You darn right they are. We are using tax money to build new downtown hotel. Get a life and blog you comments on the Courier and Press they seem to believe everything you and the Mayor tells them.

  4. danny p: This is being designed to be a hotel that attracts out of town convention people. These new/outside people that will becoming to town will be paying the taxes plus HCW will be paying property taxes. If you do not want to visit the hotel you do not have to go and pay the taxes you mention.

    Your current property taxes will not go up to pay for this hotel.

    • Nice answer and well worded. Your “current” “property” taxes will not go up to pay for this hotel. Our future property taxes will though and for two reasons. One is if the hotel under performs the balance of the property tax dollars will have to come from the properties in Pigeon Township. Secondly if the property values just happen to increase due to the hotels big success the property taxes will increase. Either way “future” property taxes will increase.

      • Della’sNemesis: I do not agree. Pigeon township will benefit from this hotel because HCW will be paying property taxes. I do not believe your future property taxes will go up because of this hotel.

        • HCW’s property taxes would have gone into the TIF drawn around the perimeter of the hotel. They would not have helped Pigeon Township one iota.

          • Unfortunately for you, Wayne, it’s not a matter of you “agreeing”… It’s a matter of facts vs. wishful thinking.

            The TIF was to exist – fact.
            The TIF was being drawn around the hotel – fact.

            Your agreement or lack thereof doesn’t matter a hill of beans.

        • Every dime of the property taxes from this hotel will go into the TIF for 25 years. Those taxes are estimated at $500k – $700k per year. They will be used to pay about 20% of the note on the hotel. That is $500k to $700k that will have to come from outside the TIF and inside the township. If there are 5,000 properties in the township this will eventually equate to $100 per property per year in tax increases. You may not believe this will increase future property taxes but unless the stars align and all of the income streams perform perfectly the future property taxes will increase. Go ask the assessor. Heck, go ask the former assessor Mr. Weaver. They know the reality. Weaver may not know because he is a fool but he should know.

Comments are closed.