Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
PEE DEE CALLS FOR MORE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT VOODOO
Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 10/11/2009 - 15:38.
If Dan Gilbert had even a smidgen of real interest in Cleveland and its people he would show it by volunteering to pay property taxes on Quicken Arena.
Don’t make this bet unless you’re on the Pee Dee editorial board.
We are being offered – again – a lot of nonsense about economic development and jobs. This is the corporate and Pee Dee mantra for subsidizing rich people.
So if you want to fatten some fat cats vote for casinos.
“Issue 3 is a gamble. But business as usual will not work for Cleveland or for Ohio,” said the editorial. Issue 3 hands Dan Gilbert a second monopoly in Cleveland. This time a casino that can score more money that LeBron.
To me, this IS business as usual. Give to the rich and take from the rest.
Here’s a headline from the 1990s when the Pee Dee was helping sell Gateway: “Backers tout Gateway’s ripple effect – 16,800 permanent jobs envisioned within 15 years.”
Jobs, jobs, progress, progress. How do people still fall for this stuff?
Here’s how the 1990s article started:
“Within 15 years of completion of the proposed Gateway stadium and arena project downtown, several new office buildings, four hotel and numerous shopping spots could crop up adjacent to the development site, project backers said yesterday.” – The Pee Dee.
In its editorial “Yes on Issue 3,” the Pee Dee depends once again on the people who benefit, quoting Dan Gilbert, billionaire owner of Quicken Loans: “Gilbert insists he will craft a business plan that actually benefits the rest of downtown.”
A billionaire interested in helping others. Oh, yeah, I’m convinced.
The Pee Dee had to whistle its way to an endorsement by passing all the evidence that says “Vote NO on Issue 3.”
“After a great deal of discussion and soul-searching, this newspaper has decided to support Issue 3,” says the Pee Dee.
In other words, the same old same old by the Pee Dee – go with what the big boys want.
“We understand that while casinos may bring glitz and gold, they invariably are accompanied by heavy social costs. We are also extremely skeptical of any initiative that enshrines a monopoly for any individuals or business in the state Constitution and sets up regulations for that enterprise in a way that can be changed only by yet another statewide vote of the people,” said the Pee Dee in its editorial.
Bad, bad but let’s do it.
The Pee Dee also cites Gilbert’s “own significant investments downtown.”
Gilbert, people, is the RECIPIENT of significant investment – by you and me – not the bestower of goodies.
As suggested by my first paragraph above, Gilbert enjoys a tax-free arena built by the people of Cuyahoga County at a cost of $157 million. By the way, we are still paying for it, about $10 million every January for arena bonds let by Tim Hagan and the boys.
So let’s not make Gilbert a philanthropist. He’s a taker.
Quicken Arena is a good example of how profits flow to one source – Dan Gilbert – and NOT to downtown Cleveland’s restaurants and other retail.
We taxpayers built a $1.8 million fancy restaurant in Quicken Arena – with not even rent coming to Cleveland or Cuyahoga County. We taxpayers furnished at a cost of $178,750 and with $350,000 in kitchen equipment. Total cost some $2.37 million!
There are other restaurant and food facilities built in Quicken Arena by the taxpayers of this County – total with the fancier restaurant - $4.9 million. Free for Gilbert and competition for all other downtown restaurants.
But give them more, says the Pee Dee.
And since we also built an attached parking garage and provided free parking for loge owners, many Quicken Loan attendees don’t have to set a foot on Cleveland streets – or in restaurants since we’ve provided them with plenty of food at places we’ve paid to build and furnish.
Yet, not a penny of property taxes for the Cleveland schools. Does that sound fair to you?
Why doesn’t Mayor Frank Jackson ask for some fairness to school children that he’s responsible to educate? Why doesn’t the Pee Dee ask?
Isn’t there one – ONE – Council member who will ask Dan Gilbert – billionaire – “Hey, before we give you another Cleveland monopoly, promise to volunteer to pay the property taxes on our arena which you use for basketball and other events and take the money and run to Detroit.
Won’t you, Dan Gilbert, pay your fair share, please? Pretty please?
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