Due diligence? I used to hear this term frequently used by Mayor Harvey in reference to building a new multi-million dollar conference center downtown. Essential for success, feasibility studies required that the center be supported by a well-run hotel with a dynamic promotional staff.

Does the city have a legally sound hotel contract or are we just going to break ground without one? I think it’s safe to say if success was expected the proposals would be numerous.

Everyone agrees the center would lose money in the first years of operation at a minimum. Would anyone seriously spend their own money for a project with these kinds of risks? I think not (and for good, sound reasoning).

Another key to success was addressing blight, which at best has been inadequate and piecemeal, mostly grant driven or privately funded due to the limited budget. City police and fire departments continue to be non-competitive (despite 2018 increases) due to the limited budget. I am led to believe the city has a limited budget. I understand some commissioners feel any debt incurred will be offset by the gains in potential tax revenue. OK, start small and within your budget utilizing the downtown library space rather than refuse to listen to anyone or any study because you childishly want a colossal convention center even though you can’t afford it.

A responsible city commission would think beyond their “wants” and build within their means insuring their due diligence to the taxpayers.

Sandra Colhard


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