A blog by Managing Editor James Jordan about the newspaper. So far it's mostly about city commission, but I hope to delve into other local issues.
Nope JJ, I see this going on for several generations!
Discussions like the blogs & town meetings should have happened back then & maybe there would have been more insight into the public's thoughts for the commissioners to debate.
Probably not. Most people believe the deal was nixed by a select few, with the backing of some local business people which MAY have been affected IF a Lowe's decided to entertain the thought of coming here. There is too much rumor and conspiracy about the whole thing (who was actually involved, was there pressure from certain hometowm merchants, what happened to the "petition" that "disappeared" when it was received by a commissioner, and so on). It will fade somewhat until the next election, when Kuhn and Smith come up for re-election, and it will be brought up again, as they were two of the "no" votes.I still don't know all the facts about how the TIF worked. My primary question is, what obligation were we (the city) in, if they had voted "yes", instead of "no". No one seems to have an answer, at least a straight one. If someone has a straight answer, of what the city was obligated to do after an initial "yes" vote, could the city brought it to a general vote (if that was legal) to see if we, the citizens, wanted to have a TIF zone north of town, and so on. I have already voted today, and this issue is the primary reason I did not vote for Scott (I had voted for him in the past). He betrayed my confidence in not "voting for the people" as I see it. If he would come out and say why it was so bad he wouldn't even let it get past the initial stage, then I would listen, but he will not say so.
what obligation were we (the city) in, if they had voted "yes", instead of "no". No one seems to have an answer, at least a straight one. >>>Here is the real deal.The vote that night would have created a TIF district. That is all it would have done.That would have given the developer something to take to Lowes. He had a gentlemans agreement with Lowes, that if he brought them a TIF, they would do the deal.AFTER that, the developer would have approached the city with the lowes deal, and the city would have then voted it up or down.The vote that night carried no obligation whatsoever.This is how some people can claim lowes was not coming anyway. True, lowes did not have a plan to come to ark city at that moment,but they did have a plan to listen to a developer just as soon as that developer got his TIF.
It comes down to 2 sides that I can see. One side has newspaper stories and googled stories. The other side has memos and documents. Which is right? I'll take the hard written facts over internet gossip and newspaper articles. The question is are there documents? They said some of the documents were given to the Travler. Is that true? If it is true, why is the Traveler holding out? I think I also saw that McDonald has copies he's giving out. Is there anyone out there that can verify?
It comes down to 2 sides that I can see. One side has newspaper stories and googled stories. The other side has memos and documents. Which is right? >>>As I have said, the documentation is on our web site in our documents sectionwe have had stories and stories and stories about it on both sides.its all in how you interpret the documents.The documents show 17-20 million being spent on home repair items from the ark city - winfield area outside the area.thats how much the developer said he needed for lowes to flythe corridor study said a small lowes would work fine here.the corridor study says a large lowes would notand that a lot of money is spent locallysoooooo... interpret it as you wish
wow, you just happen to bring up Lowes on election day... you two bit hack
My name is on everything I do.Yours... is not.thats says a lot.
Dead horse and we just keep digging it up"the corridor study said a small Lowes would work fine here."As I remember.......it never said a "small Lowes" would work. I think it did mention some smaller retail stores, but it specifically said there was not enough here to support a big box retail outlet like Lowes.Get the document and print it.TIFs in other areas are not doing well at all on the retail end. Kansas City can tell you about that.Yeah seems funny to keep stirring this up again, especially on Election Day......
I think it is very appropriate to bring this up. In fact, I think it should have been brought up earlier. It is the main reason Margolius will not get my vote, and it is the reason Kuhn and Smith will not be re-elected in two years if they are dumb enough to run again.From Patrick McDonald:As far as the TIF, I have a copy of Gilmore and Bell's (Bond attorney for the city) memo that was publicly released in January of 2008 pertaining to the TIF as proposed on this project. It quotes the use of SPECIAL OBLIGATION BONDS"A city may issue special obligation bonds in one or more series to finance those permissible expenses of a Project. Such bonds are payable, both as to principal and interest: (1) from tax increments allocated to, and paid into a special fund of the city; (2) from revenues of the city derieved from or held in connection with the undertaking and carrying out of any project; (3) from any private sources, contributions or other financial assistance from the state or federal government; (4) from increased franchise fees generated within the District and/or revenues received from the city from sales taxes, (5) from city transient guest and local sales and use tax generated from the Project, with the county's consent, or (6) by any combination of these methods.Special Obligation Bonds are not general obligations of the city, nor in any event shall they give rise to a charge against its general credit or taxing powers or be payable out of any funds or properties other than as described above. These bonds shall be exempt from all state taxes except inheritance taxes and do not count toward the city's bonded debt limitations."This copy was publicly released in January of 2008, but had been presented to each commissioner previously. I received my first copy of it before the last election. The new commissioners received a copy of it within a few months after they were elected.Gilmore and Bell have been the city's bond attorneys for many years providing General Obligation bonds and Industrial Revenue Bonds. They represented the City of Arkansas City in this matter and not the developers or any other group.I have also provided copies of this memo to the Traveler at least twice. The first time early last year, the second time just a week or so ago. I have a copy in my store if anyone needs.Patrick McDonaldApril 6, 2009 2:15 PM
My name is on everything I do.Yours... is not.thats says a lot.In your mind maybe..
again.....what about the road improvements to location.....what about the sewer.......what about the water.......Yeah that would have just paid for itself you are right. No tax payer risk here at all.......none.....
For the love of Pete, I am so tired of hearing about it. 1. All 3 of those candidates were very, very vocal that they would NOT support a TIF district for retail BEFORE they were elected. BEFORE. Obviously, enough people felt comfortable with that to still vote for them (or no one paid attention). To try and say it was some type of downtown business owner conspiracy is ludicrious at best. They were VOTED into office with those ideals it didn't change after they were ELECTED.2. Given the economic climate that started to surface in 2007/2008 there is absolutely no way that LOWES (if they were in fact going to come here) would have moved forward with the deal. NO WAY. Lowes and Home Depot were fueled by the real estate bubble, too. Lowe's profits fell by 8 percent in the 2nd quarter of 08. They beat expectations, however, primarily by controlling expenses. Do you really think they would have built a new store that would have cannabalized sales from an existing store 20 miles away when faced with declining profits. Some people act as if the whole thing would have somehow "saved" Ark City because there was a Lowes.It is water under the bridge we need to move forward...Frankly, I would much rather see development in infill property whether it be a big box or not than this continual insistence on greenfield development. Greenfield development is by far the worst type especially for economic revitilization.
By creating the TIF the city would have had to annex the land and provide services to it. If Lowes then decided not to come or pulled out of the deal then ACI would have had the opportunity to deannex the land that would then have all the city services. That is the major reason it got voted down but some people like to leave those facts out of the arguement when discussing this topic.
Zach, shouldn't you be at work and not hanging out in the blog. Oh Snap! I forgot! You ran yours in the ground.What, too soon??
"I have already voted today, and this issue is the primary reason I did not vote for Scott (I had voted for him in the past). He betrayed my confidence in not "voting for the people" as I see it."You had already voted against the TIF when you voted for Scott originally. He very publicly stated BEFORE getting elected( it is in the Traveler archives) that he would NOT support TIF projects. He did exactly what he said he would do if elected. If you did not pay attention or didn't understand the implications then that is YOUR fault not Scott's. He did not betray you. He simply did what he promised to do if elected. I hope that you took more consideration this time around when voting.
I'm pretty sure that when margolius was campaigning for his seat, he promised to carry out the will of the people. Instead, the will of the people ended up in a trashcan somewhere so he could look out for the local business owners that were scared they might have to lower some of their ridiculously high prices to compete with Lowe's. Some even spent big money on an attorney. It's clear that Margolius was catering to the special interst, and that's why he will not be re-elected. I cast my vote for Warren, Snell and McDonald.
"I'm pretty sure that when margolius was campaigning for his seat, he promised to carry out the will of the people."Well to him the will of the people would have been what he said he would do upon election, no? That is the way the "people" voted he told them "no" under any circumstances will I vote for a TIF for retail. They still voted for him and thus the "will" of the people was heard. If you didn't like it you shouldn't have voted for him in the first place. What is the point of disscussing your stance on the issues prior to election if that stance no longer mattered once you are elected? How would you feel if you were one of the people who voted for him because he explicity stated, multiple times that he did not support TIF for retail and then voted for it?You being 1 person is not "the will of the people".My point in all of this is, of course, to point out the "shortsightedness" of how we carry out our votes. People get annoyed about 1 issue so they vote people out of office but don't really pay attention to the stance of the new people they vote into office. Then they for some reason get ticked off when the newly elected person does EXACTLY what they said they would do... ridiculious.
Okay JJ I need for you to help me out about the TIF. It is my understanding thayt TIF's came to be in the late 80's because of the number of law suits around the country from comunities and small business owners who were being forced to vacate their properties from illeagal use of the then EMINENT DOMAIN laws used by local and state governing body in and for the interest of big business company, Am I own track so far? One example close to Ark City was the Target and Wal-Mart stores in Wichita Ks on the East side of town on 21st. A privite golf course on the east coast, a housing edition in other parts of the country am I on track. In there now comes the TIF'S to give yet another ay for big business to use local or state governing bodies to push their way into communities that they were not wanted. Help me am I close. And was not the intent of the TIF's to help out blighted or run down housing area by renuing run down houseing. I am almost positive but help me understand better JJ Callus
If I forget about Lowe's it won't go away. I will still be driving to Ponca to buy the things that I can't buy here. This was not about denying local businesses but about enhancing a community. I will still be spending money and sales tax in another community. Will I shop here..yes. Do I shop here...yes but I also need things that are not here...not at the now "saved but died anyway Bryant's", not at Midwest Electric, not at Woods.If I felt that the project was denied because of the horrible things it would have done I agree it was a good thing. I have, however, been in many cities where community fathers checked into the real facts and it worked. I am convinced that this was denied to put an ax in the heart of one group of people and that the will of the people was NEVER considered.Now, I will continue to spend my tax dollars in another community. It is a waste of what could have been.
And was not the intent of the TIF's to help out blighted or run down housing area by renuing run down houseing>>That was the original intent.There was some reason that made this farmland available for a TIF,I know there is the argument that TIFS were created for a certain reason. I just dont know that I buy that just because something is designed for a certain use, that it cant be used for anything else.Its all interpretation.
Margolis did say before the election last time, that he was pretty sure he would vote against the big box.he was elected anyway.he has never apologized for his vote.and stands by it.
Well, I for one, didn't vote him in in the first place. I, and everyone I have spoken to about it, believes that he made the wrong choice. He can stand by his choice all he wants.. but my bet is that when the votes are counted tonight, he won't be doing it as a city commissioner.
"DO you think we will ever get over the big box..." AAAARGGGH!!! I sure hope so. If I hear the word Lowe's one more time, I'm gonna...tick-tock, tick-tock. Never mind, Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here. hehe
"DO you think we will ever get over the big box..." ============= Well certainly not until the control issue for the commission and the town is over and decided! Why would the players want it any different and the Public can't see the real truth through all the SMOKE!
Those of us who care about the good of the town and not the good of our bank accounts will not forget about the Lowes. We should not forget as long as Mel and Dotty are still around. We should keep remembering so we know how to vote in the future. I can't stand how AC is getting worse by the day thanks to Kuhn, Smith, Margolius and those who follow them. If you are for them, you have fallen for the con they are spreading of watching the budget and keeping taxes where they are. More and more smart and talented people will leave town if these ways continue.
Anonymous said... I just googled and found this. http://www.arkcity.net/stories/040207/com_0002.shtmlHere is how Scott responded during his first race for the commission. It was printed in the Traveler for all to see BEFORE he was elected. He has only done what he indicated he was going to do.2. Do you support tax rebates for a retail development on Skyline Road to pay for road, parking and utility improvements? Someone at the Traveler just won the tough question lottery. Anyway, thank you for asking hard questions because that is what is necessary to get things done right. I would support a favorable tax structure in some instances, such as for existing businesses located downtown. We need to help local businesses in a number of ways as they are an integral part of a vibrant city, and we should consider how to help them with building maintenance since the city is affected by their appearance. I have heard a number of people complain about tax breaks for new business because they view them as unfair since they didn't get them. While I certainly understand that sentiment, it doesn't make sense to eliminate them because they are a valuable tool to encourage improvements in existing businesses, to entice businesses to relocate here, and to aid in the start of new businesses. I would wholeheartedly support tax incentives for manufacturing and other industries which would bring quality jobs and investment to the area. As far as the potential tax deal for the proposed big box retailer out North, I still have a lot of questions about it. As it stands right now, I don't see how I could support it. It looks to me that the tax incremental financing structure as proposed could do more harm than good to our community. While I applaud those who have worked to get an option like this to town, I'm concerned that this just isn't the right time and that we are certainly considering giving way too much away. I hope we can concentrate our efforts on rolling out the red carpet for manufacturing jobs instead. It doesn't seem to make sense to take the existing dollars that will be allocated to retail and spread them even thinner than they already are…..at least not until there are other things done to cause there to be a lot more dollars to spread around which will benefit everyone.April 7, 2009 5:13 PM
I bet not even half the complainers on here actually voted today.Scott did what he said he was going to do. The majority of the people who voted last election agreed with him and that is why we have what we have today. If you didn't vote it's your fault, not the fault of anyone one the commission. It would be different if they had said one thing and then did another. If you did not vote for Scott last time, then you were the minority of those who voted. Majority rules and sometimes it sucks. We have to live with it. Hey, I know how it feels. I did not vote for Obama.
No, I didn't vote, so it's NOT my fault. It's the fault of the idiots who voted.
Build a bridge and get over it already...PLEASE!
JJ this is totally off the subject but I was curious as to why in Friday's paper in the "What to do in Ark City" you didn't mention the steak cookoff at WB Meats? I am also curious as to why there wasn't any coverage on Saturday??? There hasn't even been anything in the paper about it! They put on an excellent event and many people were downtown and there wasn't one thing about it! I was there when winners were announced and you "finally" showed up to snap a quick picture. My family had an awesome time just walking around visiting and tasting delicious food! You missed out JJ!
you are very fortunet that the tiff failed, Business's currently pay for city services such as streets, sidewalks, snow removal, repairs to infrastructure, water service upgrades, sewer service upgrades, mainline maintnenace, alley repair and maintenance,,, all of this is paid for though your taxs. How can a current business compete with a business with Tiff benifits, it is impossible There was no conspiracy, there were no behind doors meetings, Big Box stores and small towns do not mix. you either have a sprawling suburb where no city starts or ends, or you have a small town where you know the guy who shoed your grampas horse and you can name most of the business owners by first name and they know and remember you. If you want Big box, it might be best for you to move to a big box town, like Argonia, perhaps Park city, maybe Mulvain Be happy where you are and thank God that there is someone right around the corner who knows you and will help you if times get bad.
"There was no conspiracy, there were no behind doors meetings, Big Box stores and small towns do not mix.you either have a sprawling suburb where no city starts or ends,or you have a small town where you know the guy who shoed your grampas horse and you can name most of the business owners by first name and they know and remember you.If you want Big box, it might be best for you to move to a big box town, like Argonia, perhaps Park city, maybe Mulvain"_____________________________We already have a big box store. It's called WAL MART. People who hate it don't shop there, and people who want to pay less do. And the town hasn't died yet because of it. The same argument was made when Kmart came here and people were afraid it might run smaller stores like Woolsworth and Western Auto out of business. It's called progress. Keep up or go under. It has been happening here since the town was built.
I guess we found out just how people still feel about the Lowe's deal.
but I was curious as to why in Friday's paper in the "What to do in Ark City" you didn't mention the steak cookoff at WB Meats? I>>>I found out about it after the story came out about what was going on.Anyways, I did go, I was there.I enjoyed the event and the food.I have pictures.Ive just been so busy, and our photographer - who processes pictures - is out this week.I really hope to get those pictures in wednesdaybut it might be thursdaysorry about that.:)jj
That was the original intent.There was some reason that made this farmland available for a TIF,I know there is the argument that TIFS were created for a certain reason. I just dont know that I buy that just because something is designed for a certain use, that it cant be used for anything else.Its all interpretation.April 7, 2009 3:06 PMIf that was the original intenet and was formed to help , not to decieve the people of the right intent of there tax dollars,why change intent? I guess since the inten of the bailout of AIG and Citi Bank was to help out main street and keep our economy strong , it must not have been a bad ideal for those companys to give out all those raises. The government should just exspect every bill passed to be changed for special interest project then RIGHT JJ Callus
KMART and Target were not importing 100% of thier goods from ChinaPay less Buy Chinese and see how they treat you after there is no place left to buy,, recon they will still be the cheapest place to buy???? how about the only place to buy
recon? Are you in the Army? Quit pouting. Your amigos lost because they slapped the people in the face and thought there was nothing we could do about it. Tonight they know different. And if the other two stick around, they will find out two years from now. I'm betting Kuhn's ego will make him quit when he realizes he has lost his power.But he did get his hospital vote in under the wire. They shouldn't even be allowed to vote on things right before an election. Can the new guys change it at the next meeting?
The government should just exspect every bill passed to be changed for special interest project then >>>>>>>>>That is an interesting debate really.Should the intent of the original author be the rule, or should a document change with the times?You know the founding fathers never had in mind that religion would be kicked out of the public square under the guise of separation of church and state.That idea was never meant to be used to persecute the church.But the fact remains, Lowes would have still paid ALL the taxes.Those taxes would have paid for the infrastructure.But we really need to put it behind us.Its time to move on.
"But we really need to put it behind us.Its time to move on."Thank you. Could we please ever put it behind us.
Well, you did make a post about it, and now you want us to shut up?
Well, you did make a post about it, and now you want us to shut up? >>>No, i want us to move on.Shutting up is not the same thing. if you get my meaning.
If Ark City wants to find out how a TIF works the city commision and the city city manager should get in the car and drive 5 hours east to Branson Mo. They can ask the major and aldermen all the questions. Branson is smaller than A.C., but they have developed with TIF's. Just a thought.
Here's an interesting article for you JJ.http://www.newsweek.com/id/192583?GT1=43002
Apparently it is not too late because of the "economy." If these new guys are all they are cracked up to be, they can deliver on what they've promised. Let them sink or swim on their own merit and not blame the economy. We will be watching to see if now that they've got what they wanted if they will be all they said they would be without selling us down the river for retail.http://yankton.net/articles/2009/02/14/community/doc49965dec5db34126486974.txt
The same argument was made when Kmart came here and people were afraid it might run smaller stores like Woolsworth and Western Auto out of business. It's called progress.Where is Western Auto, K-Mart,Gambles,Kelly Grays,and the womens stores that was down town, huh tell me where are they. And wha about all the little fishing supply stores, huh where are theyCallus
But the fact remains, Lowes would have still paid ALL the taxes.Those taxes would have paid for the infrastructure.But we really need to put it behind us.Its time to move on.we are finding out through the mal functioning veting process that more of the people at the top of the money food chain are not paying taxes. Beside they get you started and before everything is said and done woth the original agreement they more time come back and reopen the first agreement and ask for a new agreemnt or an extension because the study was not accurate and revenues were lower than expected. Just check and see how many time our city has red0one water rates or any other thing that was given in good faith to get some one to come.. In the past 2 decades more big chain stores have open and then left and in court to try to get some sort of relief or recover money lost by a broken agreement the smal town and even large communities lose on there investment (it's a fact)if you ever watch things being done outside AC!!!!Callus
But the fact remains, Lowes would have still paid ALL the taxes.JJ thas real interesting can you give me one just one example of were a contract or trust of a contrat not been made that CAN NOT be broken. Just give me one one!! if we can change a government law to fit someone's or a special groups interest (TIF's) then tell me you can for sure tell me they would pay it all back and not stick the citizens with the bill!!? That's why bank ruptcy is looking so good for some folk in all different parts of our economy therre is no gurentee except that the tax payers can and will get the shaft at some time!!.After all any money given to any body by any form of government local ,state, federal, al comes off the backs of the tax payers and mostly the low income folks who will be denied treatment for lack of insurance at certain Hospital !! What do you think JJCallus
l interesting can you give me one just one example of were a contract or trust of a contrat not been made that CAN NOT be broken. Just give me one one!! >>>Sure contracts can be broken.but you have to have some basis for doing business.I dont see how, with the company paying all the taxes, then those taxes being used for paying for infrastructure ... is giving them money.that was the unique thing about this tif.the city would get the tax money, then use it to pay for infrastructure, then they city would have received any tax money after that to keep.thats the truth people dont seem to get.
I'm surprised you could even make sense of that post jj. I had to read it a couple of times to figure out the grammar and syntax errors so i could figure out what he was talking about. I hate having to work that hard.
I'm surprised you could even make sense of that post jj. I had to read it a couple of times to figure out the grammar and syntax errors so i could figure out what he was talking about. I hate having to work that hard.April 9, 2009 11:33 AMGood. Perhaps the writer intended for you to have to work hard to understand it.I got it, but then i'm no english buff. (no phd,...etc)hahahahaah Keep up the good work callus. I enjoy your writing and your questions.
Anonymous said... I'm surprised you could even make sense of that post jj. I had to read it a couple of times to figure out the grammar and syntax errors so i could figure out what he was talking about. I hate having to work that hardI guess I will shorten it down for you Lucie, and say it like this Can anybody sayfor sure what will happen in the future? Can any one say without a doubt that any business can do what they sa without getting some sort of help without the average tax payer footing the bill. They take money out of your right hand and put nothing back in your left hand when it is held out. Ijn other words they don't really have any money to invest but what you worked hard for!!!Callus
I can say that Doug Russell is getting a Lowe's in the town he went to after leaving us. EVEN IN THIS ECONOMY!http://yankton.net/articles/2009/02/14/community/doc49965dec5db34126486974.txtA big THANK YOU to the Three Amigos for running off a city manager who would actually make this city thrive, and replacing him with their yes man.It's amazing how much damage one election can do to a city. Who would have ever thought when Smith and Kuhn were voted in that they would bring this town so low in so little time.
Smith and Kuhn have done nothing but good for this town and you don't appreciate their hard work.
April 13, 2009 10:27 PMIf you take the word "but" out of your post, I agree with it completely!
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