Thursday, September 11, 2008

Not just NO but HELL NO!!!!!!

While it appears the city has a surplus this year, the idea that we need to build a NEW, $600 million dollar Convention Center is INSANE. This city has so many problems that need our attention and they want to build a new Convention Center when the White Elephant, er, Cook Convention Center is still operable AND, if Robert Lipscomb hadn't attached himself at the hip to BPS, we could have converted the Pyramid to a Convention Center.

Here's the list of the "study committee" assigned to this project. If you know one, call them NOW and tell them to STOP RIGHT HERE:

Calvin Anderson

John Bobango, ex-officio

David Boyd

Kevin Brewer

Lois DeBerry

Reid Dulberger

Ryan Fleur

Shea Flinn

Michael Hagge

Onzie Horne

Lee Jackson

Kevin Kane

Pierre Landaiche

Benny Lendermon, ex-officio

Deidre Malone

Jeff Sanford

Wayne Tabor

Blair Taylor

Tommy Volinchak


ContrAltoDelete said...

Well said. I wish I knew someone on the list. Failing that, let me say here that this is wrong on SO many levels. I have worked in several local and state governments and learned a lot from that work.

This is perhaps the most blatant example of misguided public policy I've seen in a while. At a time when taxpayers are stretched and local services are being cut to avoid raising taxes further, there is always money for consultants to study the building of something, and then more money to pay the developers to build it, regardless of the findings.

I'm not against growth, but I favor "smart growth." This is perhaps the dumbest development proposal I've heard. It requires us to believe that the people who are allowing our old buildings to rot, or who were involved in some of our new-building failures, somehow know how to build something to attract tourists and conventioners.

People will come to Memphis once because of our unique history. Judging from letters to the CA, they won't return because of the blight and crime.

Here's an idea: fix the blight and crime.

polar donkey said...

The convention center is truely an insane idea. There are so many other more productive investments for the city. The focus on competing with Nashville and tourism are so backward looking. First, we've lost. Nashville won. They just have more money and smaller social problems. Quit running up the credit card to keep up with the Jones. Second, why isn't anyone thinking about what the US and world economy will actually look like. Oil cost have dropped to $100 in the middle of a world wide recession. What happens when the economy picks up. Oil prices will skyrocket. Globalization is and will reverse. Create a public transportation system here in Memphis. Invest in alternative energy manufacturing. How about crime reduction. Did you know neighborhoods have to buy their own cameras if they want the Real Time Crime Center to monitor it?

I have one thing that keeps me hopefully that this $600 million boondoogle. If the football stadium didn't go anywhere, a giant convention center will not either.

ContrAltoDelete said...

polar donkey, the convention center "smells" to me like a backup promise to the same people that the football stadium was promised to. Willie H. wants to deliver to his buddies and get something with his name on it.

It's a shame, because WH was instrumental in a lot of good development in Memphis downtown. But even downtown always has that two steps forward, one back precariousness these days.

Memphis needs to take care of infrastructure, the decidedly unsexy runways and bridges and earthquake-safe buildings that it needs if it wants to keep being a transportation hub. If you build it they won't necessarily come if it is another boondoggle and if they are given a front-row seat to crime and blight.

Katie said...

I'm calling Shea later.

Perhaps they want to build a new one because the Cook Convention Center was tainted by Willie Herenton's dance moves on election night last year?

Mick Wright said...

I'm quite happy to say I agree with you 100% on this one.

Tom Guleff said...

A drowning man will grab onto the sharpest sword .....

Brad Watkins said...
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Brad Watkins said...
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gatesofmemphis said...

And speculators will knock down their half of downtown in anticipation of the windfall, making the city less attractive to...conventioneers.

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