Let Them Eat Cake Jul29

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Let Them Eat Cake

Where’s the park?

 

Those folks downtown who feel it is “their turn” to feed from Cary’s gourmet public trough, have deemed our 13 acre downtown park a “luxury“,  so our Town Council responded.  Private business owners get our prime land, public cash, and financing for their private development, leaving citizens with a stormwater drain field for a park.

6.8 million of Cary citizens’ tax dollars are subsidizingturndown wine chocolate iPads and evening bed turndowns for the well-to-do, complete with chocolates and port wine. We get the leftovers.  They call it “public private partnership”.  We call it taxpayer abuse.  They call it government “investment”.  We call cronyism.

It is your hard earned tax dollars. Your debt to pay. Your elected officials. Your town staff. If you do not hold them accountable, who will?

detention pond 1c

What’s Leftover Is a Retention Pond – NOT A PARK!


 
Bait and Switch: Parks Don’t Lure Business.

Regardless of how the Mayor and Council now try to spin it, the people of Cary know we were promised a major park. We were even told we had to borrow millions in bonds to secure the rest of the land. What we are getting instead is downtown urbanization and nothing more than a runoff pond and storm drain for a park.

How did we get from a world class public park to a taxpayer subsidized field of dreams for private businesses?  It is summed up nicely by wealthy and influential downtown business owner Sheila Ogle SheilaOgle 1bwhose luxury wedding venue and conference center stands to gain the most from a Town-Owned movie theater, luxury hotel, coffee shop, and other taxpayer funded “amenities”  that attract her class of clientele.

Her editorial is “Park Won’t Lure New Business” . To understand the confidence game being played out downtown,  lets take a careful look at each part of her message:

“I feel compelled to write in support of our Cary Town Council and Downtown Economic Development Director, Ed Gawf”

That would be the hired gun who dug us into a $6 million dollar hole renovating a downtown theater that he estimated would cost $1 million. The same Ed Gawf who committed $6.8 million of our tax money to Durham couple to build a luxury boutique hotel. And yes, the same confidence man who summarily left that position to “retire”, and is now back as a Town-paid consultant.

“Yes, a beautiful park site comprised of many acres will be a luxury but will not offer the amenities that will encourage economic development. This all-encompassing park will not attract visitors to support existing businesses because they are too far away from the park site. This type of park will not provide a site for new businesses to experience and participate in building a vibrant downtown.”

A luxury? Wait just one city minute. A public park is what taxpayers were told we were paying for.   (the Bait).  We were never sold a plan to buy 12 million dollars worth of  land to “lure new business”.  (the Switch)

“We are fortunate to live in a town that has a government that is willing to take bold moves that may not resonate with people who only think about themselves and “how it used to be,” but see the value in upgrading a plan that was good a few years ago but is obsolete now and needs to be revitalized.”

Ah yes Marie Antoinette, those pesky “people” again. We annoying little citizens whose labor pays for all this – we are always thinking about ourselves. The nerve of us to for a beg for that park and old downtown charm to enjoy with our families. Who are we to get in the way of a “vibrant” lifestyle, interrupting high tea, and embarrassing your elite clients and European businessmen.
Throwing out the plan that was sold us and replacing it with one that benefits a handful of influential business owners is not an “upgrade”.  It is bait-n-switch.

“Yes, we can have our cake and eat it too – by developing this “opportunity site” to encourage not only visitors interested in using our beautiful park site, but visitors that will patronize new businesses, existing businesses, spend money, increase our tax base and provide jobs. So, what more can a community ask for…..”

If Ogle thinks “investments” in Downtown will bring us such a great return, why is she not investing her money in it instead of ours? Crony capitalists love having the Town Council picking the winners and the losers, so long as they have arranged to be on the winning side.
“So, what more can a community ask for?”……
  • A  free market economy where private enterprise secures private funding in response to market demand.
  • An end to public subsidies of private companies.
  • Lower taxes and tax rates.
  • Smaller government and less spending
  • Job opportunities created from expanding the economy instead of expanding the government.

What has become of Cary?  The Council bulldozes thriving businesses and sends teams of lawyers after others for simply painting their building, only to then pour tens of millions of government subsidies into the businesses who cannot make on their own in a free market?


 

HAD ENOUGH?

It is your money. Sign the petition.

Ask for a sound plan.

Demand Accountability.

DOWNLOAD FLYER

Control the Spending - Build a Plan

I am deeply concerned with a growing pattern of fiscal irresponsibility evidenced in the “Downtown” area where municipal projects are plagued with cost overruns, and where tens of millions of dollars are being appropriated from the Town’s General Fund to benefit private ventures with questionable viability and value to the community.

The town is spending its way into irreversible urbanization of Downtown Cary. With $35 Million spent so far on downtown urbanization projects, no long term plan to achieve fiscal responsibility can be found. There is no schedule, no final cost, and no end in sight.

I request that the Town Council cease the use of the Town’s General Fund for land acquisitions, and suspend all private projects financed with taxpayer dollars without public hearings and voter approval.

I further request full disclosure of long term development goals for the “Downtown” area, including cost/benefit analyses, tax implications and other public and private funding sources prior to approvals and commitments.

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