During a recent “closed session” with County Manager Bruce Shell, some commissioners agreed to “explore” a deal to buy the Break Time Billiards and Ten Pin Alley with three and one-half acres of parking next to the county Municipal Center. link Chairman Jonathan Barfield thinks it may be a “win-win for the county.” But would it be a win for taxpayers?
We also wonder if Barfield offered Commissioner Brian Berger a partnership in his taxpayer-funded county government real estate business. Berger agrees with Barfield. He said this deal will pay for itself. Not likely, Brian.
First, according to Commissioner Rick Catlin, there is no need for this building and in public ownership it would be taken off the tax rolls— burdening other taxpayers. Further, Commissioner Ted Davis opposes the deal because of adding to our already large debt load. On this issue, these guys represent the interests of county constituents as opposed to Barfield’s goal of increasing government interests. Is Berger going along to get along?
Recently back in the public arena after some bizarre personal problems—and counseling by Barfield—Mr. Berger seems to have his mind right; to the left. As a candidate, Berger ran on a “conservative” platform. Now he has sided with Barfield’s “Serving the Needs of Others” agenda—code-words for his interests in expanding government and charitably spending other people’s money.
Owners of the property, assessed at more than $3.3 million, would sell it to county officials (who must borrow the money adding to our public debt from other land deals) and lease it back with a renewal option; off the tax roll for seven years—a win for the owners.
In addition, if Barfield manages to increase the size of county government and fill the building with public employees, the cost of renovation to convert the alleys, pool hall and bar into offices—now unknown—will be another big expense that productive private workers will be taxed to pay for—a no-win for them.Read full article » No Comments »