Thursday, October 2, 2014

Betsy Price Thinks A New Arena Is Definitely Fort Worth It

This morning I found my favorite Fort Worth mayor, Betsy Price, in my mailbox telling me "The Fort Worth Multipurpose Arena - Definitely Fort Worth it."

Very clever.

Betsy wants me, and you other Fort Worth voters, to vote "YES" on three ballot propositions relating to a new arena.

I have long verbalized the fact that I find the way public works projects come about in Fort Worth to be perplexingly different than I experienced whilst living in a more democratic part of America. In Fort Worth you can have big public works projects, like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, with absolutely no voter input.

And now with this new arena the public is being asked to vote on three propositions. These three propositions are where this arena election turns into yet one more goofy way Fort Worth goes about its business.

Proposition #1: A user fee (tax) on event tickets not to exceed 10% of the ticket price.
Proposition #2: A user fee (tax) on livestock stalls and pens of $1 to $2 per day, not to exceed $20 per event.
Proposition #3: A user fee (tax) on parking not to exceed $5 per vehicle, which will come out of the existing parking fee.

So, the Fort Worth voters are not actually voting yes or no on the building of this new arena, what they are voting on is three user fees, apparently also known as taxes.

If the Fort Worth voters vote no on any or all of these propositions does that kill the arena?

Other info in Betsy's arena mailer is also goofy. That is the info part of the mailer, scanned for your reading pleasure below.

See the second red heading? TAXPAYERS ARE OFF THE HOOK. There we learn that "A group of private sector participants (foundations, individuals and organizations) led by Fort Worth businessman Ed Bass will provide half the $450 million project cost. Private donations will also cover any cost overruns. The arena will be owned by the City and managed by a nonprofit organization that will be responsible for its operational costs."

See the fourth red heading? BY FORT WORTH FOR FORT WORTH. There we learn that "Unlike other North Texas arenas and stadiums there is no private developer or franchise owner involved in the project and therefore all revenue derived from the City's multipurpose arena will be redirected  back into its operations and maintenance."

HUH? In the Taxpayers Are Off The Hook part of this propaganda didn't we just read that a group of private sector participants were paying for half the cost of this arena?

Come November 4 are Fort Worth's voters going to pass these three ballot propositions? I have no idea. Maybe the thrill of actually getting to vote for something will result in a resounding yes vote. Or maybe resentment at not being able to directly vote yes or no on a new arena will result in a resounding no vote.

Currently I am undecided as to whether I will be voting yes or no.....


Brad Reid said...

Are you at all clear whether or not the private sector participants, for example Ed Bass, are donating their capital to the development, or will they have their dollars returned to them? If so, will they earn a return in addition to recovering their principal? Interesting! Brad Reid

Joe Jonas said...

@BradReid, knowing how the FW Way works, the Basses and other good ole guys and gals will make out like bandits while being perceived and portrayed as selfless civic leaders and public servants...the public, and public money, being their servants. The FW Way, baby.

Lincoln said...

I voted no when I early voted on Sat.
1. I live in the area and don't want the extra traffic. I can tolerate 3 weeks/year for the stock show, I don't want that every week.
2. The city can't seem to manage paid parking at the current Will Rogers facilities. I really don't mind paying to park b/c I like direct users fees over taxes but it takes too long to funnel that much traffic thru one or two pay booths. Hello Mayor Bicycle, open a booth at EVERY entrance to the lot!!! DUH.
3. Why do need another arena in north Texas?