The basic, fundamental question is whether or not this public money, from whatever source derived, the best and most appropriate use of $822 million? It is glaringly obvious to most Georgians and to most Atlantans that it is not.
Grady Hospital faces a shortfall of $85 million. Citizens are being notified that they, the citizens, will be responsible for repairing the sidewalks in front of their homes. The infrastructure needs of the city cry out for relief. Teachers are still being furloughed for lack of funds. The list goes on...
Yet the mayor and 11 members of the city council found it appropriate that huge amounts of money be directed toward a stadium (which most people think is unneeded) which will primarily benefit the owner of the Falcons (privately-owned) football franchise.
Now, someone's going to jump in and claim that it is the only thing the money could be used for. For anyone who's interested in the origins of this skullduggery which carved out a specific amount of money to be directed specifically to the NSP.
Please see: http://legiscan.com/GA/bill/HB903/2009
Take a good look as those who did this, make a note of their names and act accordingly in the next election.
Cityzen--5:03 3/11--You are exactly correct on the money. The "$200 million" number that's floating around refers ONLY to the bonded indebtness, not the total amount that the GWCCA will be handing over to Falcon's team owner, Arthur Blank.
It's $640 million because the Hotel/Motel Tax extends to 2050 and his front group gets all of it. It's 39.3% of the 7.9% H/MT. That's a tribute of $3.10 for every $100 spent on hotel and motel rooms that the City of Atlanta extracts from visitors. The "$200 million" is a fraudulent number and if the Atlanta City council can't figure it out, then maybe they need to hire someone who can count.
Better yet, since most of the political figures have sold out the public on this issue, what needs to happen is for some publicly-spirited lawyers and accountants to file suit to bring an immediate halt to this flim-flammery. This is "UNJUST ENRICHMENT", legal grounds to have the judiciary intercede on the public's behalf.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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