Monday, September 16, 2002

A Gentleman's Disagreement

Today's Commercial Appeal's lead editorial is about the loss of the promised downtown park to more Fourth Street, something we covered previously. The CA's editors also take the City and developers to task, but with a real kid-glove, loyal opposition tone.

They dance around the reneging of promises made:
The Herenton administration has abandoned the plaza idea in
favor of a realigned Fourth Street that would be designed to
spirit traffic quickly in and out of the arena south of Beale Street,
scheduled for completion in 2004.

A new straighter, faster Fourth Street is not a done deal. Funding
and, if necessary, property condemnation will be matters for the
City Council to look at. But City Hall has signaled its determination
to make the arena as accessible to vehicle traffic as possible.
It's the mention of a lack of funding for this idea, though that leads to some real jaw-droppers.
A lot is riding on the success of the new arena, the city's
largest-ever public works project. There may be good arguments
for Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's proposal to take the plaza
out of the formula for downtown, but local taxpayers and their
elected representatives should be given a chance to have their
opinions heard as well.
That's pretty much 180 degrees opposite the tack they took when it came to funding the new arena, but I guess that now the shoe's on the other foot, and now that their own ox is being gored, it's a new ballgame. [Oooh, very badly mixed metaphor there. Sorry. No, not really. It's impressively awful. Dwell on my talent!]

The real howler is the final paragraph:
Retiring the public debt the city and Shelby County have incurred
because of their decision to build the arena without raising
property taxes will depend on the generation of sales tax
receipts in the downtown sports and entertainment district. Every
decision about arena construction should be made with the
interests of taxpayers in mind.
NONE OF THIS MATTERED WHEN IT CAME TO GETTING THE DAMNED THING! Now, suddenly, they trot out the very arguments they poisonously despised to buttress their own. It's hypocrisy. Plain and clear to see.

Would the editors of the CA admit to it? Do you think they care? They'll always do whatever they need to to get what they want. Here's the proof.

Yet again.

Until next time.

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