As Robert mentioned earlier, Angela Hunt spent the weekend in Portland and Seattle checking out streetcars with my go-to source at the city for the convention center hotel: Assistant City Manager A.C. Gonzalez, which explains why I didn't hear back from him regarding Monday's story about how the Dallas Convention Center will make more dough without an attached hotel.
Turns out Hunt caught up on her reading and on her blog fancied the aforementioned story, in which we exposed Mayor Tom Leppert and council members Ron Natinsky and Tennell Atkins for misleading voters about how the convention center would be hemorrhaging millions without a shiny new hotel.
I have tried very hard to parse my words and not be so blunt about it, but the fact is, the Mayor is lying about the convention center hotel.
The Mayor (along with Ron Natinsky) has told voters that without a hotel, the convention center itself is going to be a drain on Dallas taxpayers, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. That is simply not true.
This prompted her this morning to shoot an e-mail over to the city's CFO, Dave Cook, who confirmed our analysis of the HVS study, along with telling her that the previous subsidies to the convention center will actually be refunded.
We do not anticipate a need to subsidize the Convention Center operations. The convention center debt restructure greatly reduced the chances that a general fund subsidy would be needed. Following the debt restructure, Convention Center has returned the FY 2008-09 subsidy and the plan is to return the prior subsidies (FY 2006-07 and FY 2007-08) to the general fund next year. That will "undo" all General Fund subsidies. I have heard of no scenario that would now require a $10M (or any other) general fund subsidy to Convention Center.
Not sure why Hunt didn't include Atkins while calling out Leppert and Natinsky, but she asks why they're lying to voters ... again?
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