IS IT TRUE? December 22, 2010


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? December 22, 2010

IS IT TRUE that at long last it has been recommended that Tom Barnett should being paid in full the old fashioned way with one paycheck from his employer?….that the a recommendation from the SAC was made to the City Council to set Mr. Barnett’s salary at $109,140 which is exactly where it would have been now if the City if Evansville would have hired him the old fashioned way in 2008 like they should have?…that the saga of Mr. Barnett is a perfect example of how handcuffed Evansville’s ability to recruit talent has been for as long as Evansville has been a city?…in order to get the most talented people we have to pay competitive wages?….that much of the blight that is apparent all over town may not have ever become blighted if national talent would have been here for the last 60 or so years?….that on a one man personal level the City Council will do the right thing by honoring the agreement that Mayor Weinzapfel made with Tom Barnett in 2008 in an honest and ethical manner.

IS IT TRUE that Councilman Dan McGinn brought up the issue that the salary of the Mayor of Evansville is lower than Mr. Barnett’s at the meeting?…that the Mayor should earn a higher salary than those that report to him?….that Mayor Weinzapfel himself put a stop to the discussion?….that the relatively low salary of the Mayor of Evansville has been a major stumbling block in paying nationally competitive wages for many years now?….that the low Mayoral salary has been used as an excuse for not offering competitive wages to City of Evansville and non-profits receiving support from the City of Evansville for many years?….that using the salary of elected positions to set the salary of recruited positions is like comparing apples and oranges?….that using a low Mayoral salary to depress wages for hired employees keeps the City of Evansville down?…that the practice of keeping wages down to appease a Mayor that will not accept a wage increase for political purposes is not good public policy?

IS IT TRUE that the Mayor by stopping the discussion regarding the salary for the office that he holds, deferred or aborted an opportunity to solve a SYSTEMIC PROBLEM in favor of only dealing with the Barnett Quandary?….that deferring dealing with unrealistic financial expectations is what started the Executive Inn Dilemma and the McCurdy Issue?…that leaders seize on opportunities to solve SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS and compromisers solve individual issues?…that the problem with City and Civic salaries is still searching for a solution?

IS IT TRUE that is appears as though Downtown Evansville will finally have an agreement in place to build a Convention Hotel?…that if all goes according to protocol that in February an agreement will be signed between the City of Evansville and Woodruff Hospitality to put a Hyatt Place on the site of the Executive Inn parking garage?….that the City County Observer was the first to post the renderings and the first to outline the deal?…that there are a few more hoops to jump through like a resolution, the granting of a tax phase-in, and the signing of a contract to really get the demolition hammers to hammering?

IS IT TRUE that the resolution requests the City of Evansville to provide financial assistance to the to be determined hotel developer in the amount of $8.0 Million?….that $3.5 Million of those dollars will be coming from Casino Aztar Downtown Fund and the other $4.5 Million from, the Downtown TIF?….that Casino Aztar owns and operates the only two hotels in Downtown Evansville and may just take offense to seeing their contributions used to fund a competitor?….that the President of the ERC acknowledged that fact but was assured by counsel that it was all legal?

IS IT TRUE that it was clearly stated that the City of Evansville will be offering the incentive of FREE LAND, along with cash incentives to demolish the Executive Inn and the parking lot, to construct 305 parking spaces, and to build a crosswalk to the Centre and the Arena?…..that not a word was spoken regarding the 10 year tax phase in that will carry a value of roughly $3M that has previously been disclosed?….that the City of Evansville between the tax phase-in, the cash incentives, and the FREE LAND will be asking the ERC and the City Council to authorize an incentive package worth between $13 Million and $15 Million to the developer of the Downtown Convention Hotel?….that the hotel alone will carry a construction price tag of approximately $25 Million?

IS IT TRUE that the Downtown Convention Hotel project will cost roughly $40 Million and that the City of Evansville will be incentivizing that project by roughly $15 Million?….that the City County Observer predicted exactly these numbers over six months ago?….that a decision on the developer will not be made until February and that the dilly dallying has cost so much time that the hotel will not open until late 2012 or even into 2013?….that if politics would have stayed out of the process and proper planning would have been done back in 2007-2008 that the new hotel and the Arena would both be opening in the fall of 2011 at a lower price to the City of Evansville?

IS IT TRUE that there is still no agreement about who will execute and pay for the demolition of the corpse of the Executive Inn and improve the land beneath it?….that that whole yet to be defined piece of the puzzle will cost another $2M to $3M?….that the Executive Inn is really the responsibility of the City of Evansville?….that this particular cost should come from the ARENA BUDGET and should not impact the progress on the hotel at all?

IS IT TRUE that a March 2011 construction start date with the project timelines of 18 to 24 months yields a grand opening target for the Hyatt Place of between September of 2012 and March of 2013?….that the new Executive Director of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau whenever someone finally is hired, will not have their hands untied from behind their back until this hotel is up and running with the bugs worked out of it?….that the ECVB cannot be expected to bear much fruit in the convention business until the 2014 convention season, a full 5 years after the Executive Inn Dilemma began?


  1. Isn’t it true, though, that there might not be near the blight in Evansville…

    if not for the massive deadweight costs of taxes and regulation that are needed to pay for Barnett, Gage, Visitor Bureaucrats, Bond obligations for past “entertainment” that supposedly “broke even”, etc?

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