Monday, April 23, 2007

Harrison Square Public Hearing

This may surprise some of you.

I am not planning on attending the Harrison Square Public Hearing tomorrow.

I am very discouraged in the lack of financial information provided by the Mayor's Office and I see no reason to go to the Hearing. This issue will be voted on without the public or the members of City Council having a chance to analyze the financial details...

Tim Pape and Sam Talarico pretty much summed it up at the last meeting by declaring that you either trust the Mayor's Office and the proposal or you do not.

You can put me in the latter category.

The Mayor's office has posted some basic summary financial information on the City's website; however, they have not provided much of the information that an accountant would need to analyze the data and projections independently.

I currently think that the City is portraying a fairly rosy picture and I do not think that is appropriate.

I have spent a great deal of time looking at the limited financial information the Mayor's office has provided and I have to admit that there is not enough real data for me to make any accurate projections about the project.

If I were to guess then I would guess that the project will involve about 45% private financing and about 55% public financing when it is all said and done.

If I were to guess I would say they they are projecting hotel occupancy rates that are far higher then they the hotel will actually experience unless Fort Wayne becomes an active tourist destination in the next few years.

If I had to guess I do not think the City has including any overhead in their calculations.

If I had to guess I would guess that the City will not make the retail sales numbers that they are projecting in the first stage retail portion.

I think the largest risk to the City in the project is that Hardball Capital will not finance stage two or stage three unless things go very well for stage one.

I encourage all members of City Council to vote against this project.

Mike Sylvester


Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that you aren't going. I was hoping to see you speak.

Not Ozzie said...

I'm going, but I'm not speaking. I just want to sit there and stare at Didier and make him wince.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Ah come on out Mike - it won't be that bad. We can always discuss non-Harrison Square topics...

Anonymous said...

It may get long and ugly!!

I just was talking to someone tonight, who pointed out that speakers will each get 3 minutes to speak. I did the math. At last count, there was approximately 100 speakers. Add a in those residents who don't sign up beforehand (Virtually the majority of FW.) You get one long meeting!

Here are a few calculations, including alloted minutes for speaking!

100 Speakers x 1 Minute = 100 Minutes = 1 Hour, 40 Minutes
100 Speakers x 2 Minutes = 200 Minutes = 3 Hours, 20 Minutes
100 Speakers x 3 Minutes = 300 Minutes = 5 Hours

With Late Comers:
Worst Estimate #1 -
120 Speakers x 3 Minutes = 360 Minutes = 6 Hours
Worst Estimate #2 (I hope not!) -
150 Speakers x 3 Minutes = 450 Minutes = 7 Hours, 30 Minutes

Speakers be brief!!! And audience members bring your p.j.'s and sleeping bags!!!

And have some sympathy for your gov. officials!

J. E. Dean

Robert Enders said...

Members of the City Council are already aware of Mike's and my opinions. I might see if I can get our city council candidates, Byron Petetrs and Michael Brightbill to attend.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't surprise me Mike. Like the smoking ordinance, it's a done deal. It will not matter what anyone says. Everybody would be much more productive spending time with their family.

david said...


I'll likely attend for a bit and then head to Henry's for beers. I'm not planning on speaking. The point of this public hearing was for those who wished to have a voice - I've already spoken so I think it would be unfair to those that wish to speak that have not yet done so.

Dave C.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I may well come down for a bit and then retire to Henry's as well...

Mike Sylvester

Scott Greider said...

Mike, you're starting to sound more and more like an urbanite! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I agree that the opinions of the speakers will not influence the decision at all, but I think it will be interesting to watch everyone argue.

Robert Enders said...

If you can figure out a way to get a hold of me, I'd be happy to join you.

Anonymous said...

I am a first time visitor to your blog. I also don't trust the mayor. In 1999, the year he ran for mayor, he declared an income of $293.000 to the IRS. After he won election he bcame the first mayor in 30 years not to disclose his income to the press on an anual basis. He then paid $2.4 million for Bill's Palace when tax records show it was only worth $265,000. The Harrison Square Project is only $65 million of tax payer dollars. When are we going to realize the real scam is the $856 million school bond issue. Richard Saunders II

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

"I think the largest risk to the City in the project is that Hardball Capital will not finance stage two or stage three unless things go very well for stage one"

I think you really NAILED this part, Mike...

I would not be AT ALL surprised to see the "rats" lining up in queue, ready to "jump ship" at the FIRST sign that all doesn't go "as planned".

Unfortunately (for us, the citizenry), it'll be way too late to do anything but find some way to cram ourselves into a lifeboat...and await "rescue".

(gotta love analogies, however pertinent they become)


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