Friday, October 28, 2011

Rodeo bond was a bad deal

Would you consider investing $400,000 in a year to earn $7,470 a wise investment? I don't think anyone would, yet this was what was presented to voters last year by Mayor Rick Davis and signed off on by Councilman Fritz Haemmerle and the rest of the Hailey City Council to be put before Hailey voters known as the "rodeo bond."

This $7,470 is not a typo or misprint. It's an abomination. This is the amount earned on the rodeo bond you voters approved last year. We property owners in Hailey will be paying $400,000 each year in additional taxes in the teeth of this recession so that this beautiful, welcoming structure can sit empty and degrade. What do you think? Pretty thing at the gateway to our city, isn't it? U-g-l-y.

Didn't matter that a business plan was not formulated with financial projections. Didn't matter that an ongoing expense to Hailey property owners would be created. Didn't matter that the national association representing ice rinks said there was not enough regional business to financially support another ice rink. Nope. Your elected "representatives" thought forcing (only) Hailey property owners to pay for the rodeo complex in the teeth of the recession would be good for Hailey.

They said the rodeo would create jobs. For Pocatello it did. The only thing this dereliction of duty by your elected representatives has done is create an eyesore and permanent ongoing maintenance expense to (only) the property owners of Hailey which will only increase when the visitor center is built and/or ice rink is built. This is insane. Hailey was sold a bill of goods on a tide of emotion created by an anonymous donor whom none of your elected representatives even knew the name of. Surprised the donor pulled out? Not me. Another dereliction of duty by this current mayor and City Council.

We need new blood to lead Hailey, not the same people who refuse to listen to common sense and enslaved us to debt instead of prosperity. A $392,530 loss every year is not acceptable. How will they change this hemorrhage they created?

Mark Cook


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