IS IT TRUE Part 2 August 19, 2013 “WE ARE THE BUSINESS PLAN” says HCW

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE Part 2 August 19, 2013

IS IT TRUE the following statement regarding a conversation between Rick Huffman of HCW, the development company from Branson, MO and two members of the Evansville City Council?

“As some of you probably know, Councilman Friend has been asking for business records, a business plan, and tax records from HCW, the developer. He had a meeting with Rick Huffman, the “H” in HCW, and he told him point blank “WE ARE THE BUSINESS PLAN!” According to Friend, this statement was made in front of Councilman Dr. Dan Adams as well.”

IS IT TRUE that both Councilman John Friend and Councilman Dr. H. Dan Adams have confirmed to the City County Observer that this is an accurate representation of their meeting?…we find it amazing that anyone who is asking for a grant of the taxpayers money for so much as $100 would be so arrogant as to tell two members of the grant management team that “WE ARE THE BUSINESS PLAN!”?…the way this went down not only confirms that there is no business plan whatsoever but that the developer has no respect for the Evansville City Council or the hard earned tax dollars of the people of Evansville?…the only people that we are aware of that is even close to being this flippant and arrogant while panhandling are Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump?…we are sure there are others who have such a high opinion of themselves to do such a thing but the names are not on the tip of our tongue?

IS IT TRUE perhaps the Evansville Redevelopment Commission, 4 members of the CVB Board, and the Evansville City Council should sit down for a talk with the senior commercial loan staff of Old National Bank and ask them just how far a statement like “WE ARE THE BUSINESS PLAN” would go toward getting to YES with their loan committee?…we all know the answer to this but hey, it’s just taxpayer dollars so lets bundle them up like Jesse Pinkman and toss money out the window like some of our most slothful residents do with fast food bags?

IS IT TRUE that being blatantly told “WE ARE THE BUSINESS PLAN!” after respectfully asking for a business plan for weeks should result in a vote of the City Council of 9 – 0 to tell a person with this attitude NO?…the City Council are the stewards of the public’s money and such a flippant attitude combined with brass balled arrogance does not set the stage for a good working relationship?…we suspect that this attitude from anyone at all before a grant committee or a loan committee would result in this door being shut forever?…we shall soon learn whether or not 5 members of our City Council have the courage to stand up to a bully or if they will cower and give the bully our breakfast, lunch, and dinner money?

IS IT TRUE this makes the fact that the Mayor’s office and two appointed commissions rolled over and support this deal without having even attempted to VET it even more astounding?…a wise man once said, “a good deal with a bad partner is not a good deal”?…we wonder what that wise person would say about a bad deal with a bad partner?


  1. We should all know who the “H” in HCW = Rick Huffman, who is “C” & “W” Has anybody requested a Dunn & Bradstreet on HCW? What information did the members of the ERC rely upon to spend 37.5 million dollars of taxpayers’ money? Surely, not “We are the business plan” How pompous and asinine can anybody be!!!

  2. Click on this:

    Then scroll down to page 7 and look at the annual net (loss) on the Branson Landing Project. No doubt the taxpayers of Branson are suffering from a bad case of buyer’s remorse right now.

    If HCW “IS” the business plan, then we are in trouble if we give them a free hand!


    • NET LOSS OF $658,000 in its 6th year of operation but wait there are $582,577 more in off balance sheet losses not to mention the interest on the $80 Million debt. Thanks Press

      $80,000,000 Missouri Development Finance Board, Infrastructure Facilities Revenue
      Bonds (City of Branson, Missouri – Branson Landing Project) Series 2005A
      The Redevelopment Project – Completion Status
      The Public Improvements and the Private Improvements of the Redevelopment Project (described in the

      Official Statement) were completed in approximately July, 2009.

      Annual Number of Events 256
      Total Annual Visitors 36,074
      Total Daily Attendance 141
      Overnight Stay Attendance (_Rooms) 47 809
      Annual Daily Rent Averages 684
      Annual Revenues Derived from Space Rental, Food and Beverage and Equipment and Services 4,986,727
      Departmental Expenses (including salaries and benefits, utilities, repair and maintenance) 3,212,830
      Operating Expenses (including salaries and benefits, utilities, repair and maintenance) 1,850,201
      Net operating income/(loss}_ (658,881)
      Additional Marketing Program Costs 582,577
      Taxable Admissions $30,475

  3. Here is a short list of Cities that lost big bucks building convention centers. I found all of these with a 5-10 minute internet search.

    Kansas City
    San Jose
    St. Louis

  4. I honestly believe the People should be in the streets and marching on City Hall, this is outrageous, and a “withdrawal” from the Public’s pockets, akin to the Old West “Stand and Deliver” demand by Stagecoach robbers.

    • Crash, I’m with you on doing this. Lets unite and ask other people to join our protest march on City Hall. Let’s contact the Tea Party and Libertarians, Independents and other hard working middle class people of this community to join our public protest on Sept. 9, 2013 just before City Council meeting.

      What do other CCO readers think about this?

      Now its time to stand up against the bad public policy decisions of the Mayor and his rich buddies on the Evansville Regional Business Committee that is controlled by Vectren.

      The time is now to stop City County to give $37 million dollars of our hard earned without proper financial vetting.

      • Count me in. “Freedom isn’t free we have to sacrifice and fight for our liberty”.

        Let the protest begin. Give me a time and place to have our protest organization meeting.

        Oh, I hope this Brad Lindsey guy will spearhead this effort.

        • I am no longer associated with Citizens of Evansville Against a Taxpayer Funded Hotel. I have requested to be removed as Admin. Please direct all future inquiries about this group to Brian Bennett of News4U.

          • Some people disagreed. I’m still against the hotel, but I can’t be associated with the FB page anymore.

          • I hear ya. I’m in one of those battles myself. I hope you continue doing things like how you did/are doing with this project. There are still many more frontiers to conquer.

          • Thanks Jordan. It’s nice being on the same side of an issue with you for once. 🙂

          • I could be persuaded to stay home for a “no” vote here. If he votes “yes” he’s done. I hear he isn’t running again anyway though. If that’s true, he should vote “no” on principle and retire keeping some dignity.

      • The news said that the facebook group was already planning a protest September 9th. The guy promoting it was Phillip Schulz, you should contact him to see how you can be involved. The Libertarian Party will have representation there for sure.

      • Sept. 9th, Wild horses couldn’t keep me away,—time to stand up and try to Stop this madness!

    • You will not have enough people attend to play horse shoes. The majority of the people are for the hotel.

  5. If a mass protest happens it shall be one of Evansville finest hours.

    We need to have proper financial vetting of this proposed multi-million dollar hotel project before we give away of our tax dollars. Don’t forget what the Mayor and his 5 city council puppets giving the ‘Earthcare’ Executives a $200,000 cash advancement on that project without proper vetting.

    Count me and my many friends to attend to protest on the grounds of the Civic Center.

    Just need time and date. Unite Evansville against waste of public tax dollars!

  6. Has anyone seen the C&P story about the IU medical center and the possibility of a convention hotel being built on the east side? Why did the mayor not mention this?

  7. I’m glad to hear Councilman O’Daniel is coming out against this mismanaged fiasco. He’s always been a great person to talk with (and so has John Friend as well), he’s just been a little inconsistent with his politics (of course you could probably say the same about me as well). If John Friend and Councilman O’Daniel sided with the good guys for every project like they are here, we’d have one helluva city council going.

  8. Had a chance to talk to Mr. Friend on Sat. and he is not backing down on this. I know the budgets are underway and a lot at stake here. He is adamant on his position and I do respect his knowledge of figures, I know Johnson Controls was an issue for him but it was carved down by 11 million and hopefully will work for Evansville. We do need a downtown hotel, I think we all realize this, but ????????????????????and where does the buck stop?????????? Surely there is an answer somewhere to the benefit of this city

    • Why would Friend and Adams even consider voting in favor of this developer who basically pounded his chest by saying “We are the Business Plan”? Friend needs to look into the losses at the Branson Landings development. Any member of the City Council who votes Yes on this without seeing a plan and vetting it is a fool.

      • Given the current situation it appears there are more than likely four NO votes coming from Friend, Adams, O’Daniel, and Lindsey. Of course we know Weaver and Missy are for it along with the formerly deliberative Dan McGinn who is letting his party loyalty dictate his vote. This leaves Connie Robinson who was personally insulted by the refusal to talk about job commitments and Stephanie Riley who showed how analytical she was in figuring out the Earthcare scam to decide this. From my perspective it seems as though at least one of those two will take these people to task for not supplying a plan and vote no. All that can change based on intimidation tactics and threats that will certainly be coming at the non-supporters. Hopefully the opponents of this will show support for council members who have the chutpah to stand up and say no.

          • Connie is sometimes hard to understand. She never met a contract with a minority business or woman business clause in it that she didn’t love. Hopefully she can set her internal prejudices aside and vote with her mind instead of her pocket this time. I can imagine selling toilet paper and dixie cups to the hotel could be rich enough to get her to be dumb like Missy and Weaver. Then there is that deal she has supplying Tropicana that is pretty torqued off about the use of Riverboat money to fund a competitor. Connie is sort of in a position of conflict of interest isn’t she?

      • Well lets just make us some T-Shirts with “We are the Business Plan” on them to mix with the “We are Evansville” shirts decorating the well fed carcasses of some. What happens when “We are the Business Plan” meets “We are Evansville”? The elected leader of Evansville hands them $37.5 Million.

        • TheJoker—How many business plans have you done? You would not know one if it hit you in the head.

          • The same number that Mayor Winnecke has read and understood. ZERO. But I do know you need one to get a loan or a grant. Apparently you and the Mayor don’t have the good sense to know that.

  9. Other than the hotel association, businesses in Evansville including Old National Bank support the convention hotel.

  10. IS IT TRUE, that Ed Hafer, president of REC and is the Director of the Evansville Regional Business Committee, a secret millionaire club earning $83,000 per year, having plush offices on the seventh floor of the Vectren building, allegedly flew on Bob Kock’s 52 million dollar Citation Jet together with Marsha Abell, Mayor Winnecke, Bob Warren, Connie Robinson, Dan McGinn, First Lady Carol McClintoch, Phil Hooper, and other lesser known…IS IT TRUE, that Bob Jones, CEO of Old National Bank is an elite member of the Evansville Regional Business Committee, a $10,000 membership fee due at the door. IS IT TRUE, that Sarah Miller, Senior Vice President Old National Bank, employee of Old National Bank, is a member of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission and voted for the Hotel project. IS IT TRUE, that Ed Hafer, the Architect, received any compensation on this project and, if so, has he filed a conflict of Interest statement with the City of Evansville. IS IT TRUE, who will be receiving compensation for the bonds, Old National Bank, or Fifth-Three Bank.

  11. Did anyone else notice that the Facebook page against the hotel had its artwork stolen by a group supporting the hotel? We knew Winnecke’s minions were liars but now they prove to be thieves too.

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