A column in today's paper uses a phrase with which we are unfamiliar, and we respectfully request an explanation.
A pair of state legislators use the column to discuss the conflict between the Stadium Building Authority and a private business the authority wishes to force to move.
They say, in part, "A significant public project such as this...needs to be done on a 'best presentation' basis."
We have to plead ignorance on the meaning of that phrase. If they mean an honest, straight forward discussion, we would certainly agree. Up to now, that has not been the case. For years the proponents of a new stadium, aided and abetted by news media policy, have relied on being "less than forthcoming" concerning plans to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
Land was procured secretly, and on at least one of those rare occasions when questions were asked about an acquisition, the reporter was told it was none of his business. A follow-up question to the then president of the city-county council brought the reply that they really didn't know what they would do with a piece of land on which they had just spent several million dollars.
As recently as about a year ago, the mayor was still denying that there were any plans to build a new stadium. The taxpayers have never been asked, incidentally, whether they would rather pay police and firemen or have their money handed to millionaires.
And now we have a couple of politicians following up on a recent editorial in that same paper making the claim that filing an eminent domain suit is all part of a day's usual business. Is that a "best presentation?"
Is it part of a "best presentation" to have a pair of out-state legislators make a statement that "...we think it will be better for the long-range plans of both the Hurst Co. and the convention center."
The company has been in business for nearly seventy years without benefit of their judgment, and their attempt to enforce that outside judgment by judicial decree is completely outrageous.
Reference is made again to "thousand of jobs" being at stake. Is it a "best presentation" to make the claim that "thousands of jobs" depend on the acquisition of a handful of parking spaces?
They also refer to "The reputation of our city..." They are certainly correct on that point. Not many businesses will want to move into an area where a few parking spaces have a higher priority than a thriving, tax-paying business more than a half century old.
We might suggest these two fellows read the article on the back of the very page upon which their column appears. It is by the Speaker of the House and says, in part, "Job one for this legislature must be to support...long term job creation."
If the Hurst Co. is run out of business, will their employees be offered jobs as parking attendants on their own lot?