IS IT TRUE September 2, 2013

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

IS IT TRUE September 2, 2013

IS IT TRUE that the Civic Center Moles have been working overtime this weekend and have unearthed a tidbit that the City County Observer and the people of Evansville who support rational investment decisions and transparency have been demanding for a couple of months now?…it seems as though the powers that be in the Office of the Mayor are finally taking the threat to hold the HOTEL deal in committee and the very real possibility that the VOTES ARE NOT THERE TO PASS IT as the reality that the CCO has known for a good long time seriously?…in the face of what is certainly an unexpected and unwelcome reality that this is not the cakewalk they were hoping for Councilman John Friend’s request for a “GRANT APPLICATION” is about to get a response?…we have it on good authority that City Attorney Ted Ziemer is burning the midnight oil to put together the documents that he has that will possibly meet the requirements for VETTING that Councilman Friend has been asking for all summer?

IS IT TRUE the vote on this hotel in its present form is scheduled for one week from today?…VETTING a package of this magnitude is not a fast process so assuming that the Mayor’s office delivers a complete “GRANT APPLICATION” from HCW may not be completed by September 9th’s vote?…as we and others have demanded the vote should not be held until after the budget hearings have been completed AND until after the results of the 2012 audit are made public?…only after these two things are on the table can learned people made a cognizant decision to move forward with any grant to a hotel developer?…if the YES votes were in place today to pass this GRANT, the Mayor would not have disclosed any of this information?…it is pretty common knowledge that there are still two members of the City Council who have not yet expressed a position on this GRANT and that the vote if held today would be 4 – 3 with a coin flip deciding the leader?…the hard line locked in vote is now 3 – 3?…after 6 town hall meetings and the mood of the city fractured this little game of tic-tac-toe is heading for a single vote margin that is anyone’s guess?…that is why the Office of the Mayor has finally gotten in the mood for VETTING?…the dog and pony show did not work as planned?

IS IT TRUE it was revealed last week that the downtown TIF collected only $6.9 Million in 2012 and spent $8.4 Million which is unsustainable?…it was also revealed and reported that the same downtown TIF will have expenses in 2013 of $18.4 Million due to the Ford Center lease of $10 Million per year for 26 years?…there is no way the TIF will collect that much money in 2013 but does have a rainy day fund accumulated of just under $8 Million meaning the TIF will have about $15 Million available in 2013?…we are trying to learn where the other $3.4 Million will come from and where the $11.5 Million shortfall in 2014 will be coming from?…bondholders must be paid and when the TIF does not have the means there is a backup plan that involved tapping taxpayer dollars?…we hope to be able to report these sources to you in the near future as the WOLF IS NOW AT THE DOOR, and former Mayor Weinzapfel’s revenue expectations for Ford Center just has not happened according to that dog and pony show?

IS IT TRUE that the CCO would like to commend Courier and Press editor Tim Etheridge on his editorial about the “golden opportunity” as we called it that the outcry from the African American community has handed the EPD?…it is good to be in agreement with the CP that this form of negative feedback is a time to change the status quo to raise the level of life in Evansville?…the other editorial by an unnamed author in the CP that the City Council should end the nonsense and “just build it” mimicked the head in the sand article from “Our Times” from a week ago?…the CP editorial chose to get on board with the party line that vetting is not necessary and that tax money should be thrown at a hotel in whatever magnitude is required?…the article was full of errors and should be an insult to the thinking class of Evansville?…we are glad that the Office of the Mayor has seen the light and is about to get on the “Just VET it” program no matter how much reality it took to get them there?


  1. “bondholders must be paid and when the TIF does not have the means there is a backup plan that involved tapping taxpayer dollars?”

    This MUST be true…. Anyone buying municipal bonds aren’t going to buy without the full faith and credit of the City in question on the line. If the TIF drawn around the hotel fails to deliver, i.e. if the hotel itself fails to deliver, the taxpayers will most certainly be on the hook for this.

  2. ERBC member Jack Pate’s Courier & Press is using the propaganda approach of limiting the debate, i.e. falsely pretending the only debate people are having is over the size of the hotel and not the fact of its subsidies. This has been happening since day one.

    They are then making it seem as if the debate has been settled and there is consensus. The closer we get to the day of the vote, the more they will tout this false consensus, making it seem as if anyone still showing reservations just didn’t listen at the Mayor’s scripted town halls.

    Finally, they will repeat the mantra of “we deserve this, just do it” over and over until the mindless throngs begin to believe the debate is over and they “deserve” a hotel.

    Jack Pate is not in the news business as much as he is in the propaganda business. His paper’s coverage of this hotel issue is Exhibit A.

    • Agree overall but am confused on the micro level.

      I agree the C&P is just pushing this as propaganda because the city is pushing it. If the city weren’t pushing it, there wouldn’t be a single article calling for a convention center hotel.

      However, arguing over the subsidy is arguing over the size of the hotel. If the hotel is scaled down small enough the subsidy would vanish in proportion to the down sizing of the project.

      And that’s what I’d like to see debated. I don’t want this project altered to where we end up with that FUGLY Hyatt Place that would make Deaconess Hospital look like progressive architecture, but at the same time, how have we gone from 220 rooms for $8 mil and tax abatement to 253 rooms for $37.5 mil if the apartments and condos are indeed a generous throw in from the developer.

      $8 mil for this hotel would be an excellent deal. It would build the infrastructure connecting the 3 buildings and it would leave most of the valuable downtown TIF intact. So basically, this hotel design with the previous agreement is what needs to happen.

  3. “…bondholders must be paid and when the TIF does not have the means there is a backup plan that involved tapping taxpayer dollars?…” (CCO)

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I have said it before and I will keep saying it until it sinks in: This city could not peddle either the arena bonds or these proposed hotel bonds if were not for the inclusion of the County Option Income Tax (COIT) revenue being pledged as a source of revenue for servicing the bond debt!

    If the other sources listed in the bond description cannot produce the amount needed to service the debt it will most certainly be taken from the COIT. All of the people behind this project know that fact.


    • Did you ever find out anything more on the transfer made to the downtown TIF. What was the source of funds?

      • I was watching on TV so I did not have a chance to question Lloyd about which account or accounts were tapped to make up the difference. Friend would certainly know.


  4. Does anybody know who are the members of the Regional Business Development Committee located on the 7th floor of the Vectren building?

    I’m talking about the one that Ed Hafer is the paid ($80,000 a year salary) president of. Isn’t Hafer the President of the ERC who just approved the funding of this hotel project?

    Someone told me that Courier and Press Jack Tate the publisher is a paid members of this group. I was told that this organization pushed to have our elected officials to support the downtown hotel project. If so, isn’t this a major conflict of interest issue concerning Jack Tate and Ed Hafer?

  5. I do commend Tim Ethridge for his article dealing with the last city council meeting. I felt like it was a pretty fair assessment from all sides and angles of the issue.

    But one other person I would like to commend is Phyllip Davis for starting up the City-County Celebrator. On the facebook page, I see a lot of people trying to do a lot of good for the city. I highly recommend everyone visit it and click like as well as support the charities on the page…

    • The City Council meeting did not help the black cause. From the meeting it appears blacks are more racist than whites. Connie really had a bad night. Billy had a good night.

  6. While Tim and the courier crew are on their ” bad perception” campaign, the reality of life in the 4th ward continues to be ignored. Since George made the headlines for getting his feelings hurt, 3 young black men have been shot in the 4th ward. Tim and the fellas have not even reported the two shootings last night. Guess he is scared Rev Brooks will get upset if someone knows how violent his neighborhood really is. Where is Connie’s passion when black people are victimizing each other? How many shootings has she shown any emotion about?
    That meeting was a joke. One criminal after another told of how insensitive the police were. No matter how horrible their crime, that fiasco of a meeting allowed them to play the victim. Anyone who thinks both sides of anything were told that night is nuts. Anyone who was not part of the staged circus was interuppted and disrespected for disagreeing with Brooks and Robinson.

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