| Schutze |

Kicking a Dead Horse: Just Why's the City Council Trying to Save Reunion Arena, Anyway?

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Hey, take a close look at the ridiculous grand-standing going on over Reunion Arena, and then ask yourself the key question about our city council: Would I buy a used car from these guys?

Led by Ron Natinsky, who's calling for a special meeting next week, and Dwaine Caraway, the majority on the council are acting like they’re going to do something to save Reunion Arena.

Reunion is screwed. It’s dead.

We’re losing a million bucks a year on it, sometimes more. It’s screwed because Laura Miller was right and John Scovell and Ron Kirk and Tom Hicks and Ross Perot Jr. and John Ware were liars.

They said the deal to build the American Airlines Center wouldn’t kill Reunion and saddle the city with an expensive carcass. That was a lie. The deal was designed to kill Reunion.

They did the deal anyway. Signed on the dotted line. So now Reunion is dead, as it was supposed to be.

The facts on the ground prove that Laura Miller was telling the city the truth when she said this was a terrible deal for the city.

It’s a great deal for former city manager Ware, who got hired by Hicks. Terrific deal for Kirk, who will be on the gravy train till death do us part. Hicks, Perot, Scovell: Do I even need to say?

But a crap deal for us. All that stuff right around the AAC pays no taxes. The development just beyond it was going to happen anyway. And Reunion is dead.

But do remember: It is, in fact, dead. A loser. It loses a million bucks a year. The city was stupid. The city council acted like total laydowns for the boys. They allowed us to get stuck. But stuck we are.

We’re $50 million short of our budget in this city. We’re going to drain pools and shut down libraries because of it. How can we afford to keep pouring a million bucks a year into Reunion, just to avoid admitting a mistake?

I talked to WFAA-Channel 8 reporter Brad Watson outside the city council executive session this morning, and he told me about an interview he did last week with two TAG magnet students who depend on their branch library because they don’t have an Internet connection at home. That’s who we should be worried about.

Natinsky and Caraway are carrying on like we need to haul Ray Hunt and Ross Perot Jr. down to City Hall to reopen the contract on Reunion and the American Airlines Center. They want to make sure we don’t get screwed.

They won’t get the receptionist who answers for the secretary who takes calls for the legal assistant to Ray Hunt’s lawyer down there. And why should they? It’s a done deal.

My two-bit advice? Shut that sucker down, scrape it and sell the dirt. In the future, if you really don’t want to get screwed, don’t be a whore. Just a thought. --Jim Schutze

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