Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Is another failure for downtown development coming? - corrected headline

One of the nice things about being retired is that I can blog — nor not — as I am so inclined. I posted a few things in the past two weeks, but nothing extensive. In part, it’s a conflict between maintaining a sense of peace and expressing an opinion or clarifying what is generally false information spread by the Amarillo Globe-News. The latter task lately would be a full-time job. I’ll pass on the critiques for the moment. Should I choose to pursue those more vigorously, I can do so at my own pace.

But, we do having something brewing for which I’d like to give my readers a “heads-up.” On Thursday (Oct. 31, 2013), the Amarillo Local Government Corp.’s agenda calls for a discussion of a co-developer for the convention center hotel. The financing for that hotel was to be in place by Nov. 1 as part of the $113 million deal that master developer Wallace Bajjali put together with the City Commission in November 2010. It’s not clear if The Amarillo Independent’s warning to the City Commission, which was kludged around through the panel’s own form of denial, will lead to an “I Told You So” column.

To prepare for whatever comes out of the ALGC meeting tomorrow, I’ve posted two videos to The Amarillo Independent’s YouTube channel. The first is the Nov. 9, 2010 City Commission work session at which Melissa Dailey and David Wallace pitched the commission; and the second is the Nov. 16,2010 work session at which the City Commission backed off on immediately awarding Wallace Bajjali a contract after the commissioners saw the Independent’s vetting of Wallace Bajjali,.

As you watch these videos, note how the project has evolved and how, despite promises, taxpayer money has been arabesqued into the deal. You’d know that if you follow the media coverage on the project since then. In addition, note that Ron Boyd, when he was a commissioner, implied that the citizens would get to vote on this pojrect.

We’ll report here tomorrow to let you know what happens. Stay tuned.