FUSE is in the news again and it shows what is really wrong with government.
The city is apparently going forward with its plans but its anchor tenant has not made a financial commitment. This is a terrible mistake and I believe the city is being played by the owner of the Grizzlies.
No private company proceeds until anchor tenants are locked in; only with government does this kind of insanity exist.
The citizens of Gastonia should be fair warned that if the city continues without Mr. Cole making a firm financial commitment, the future commitment he makes will be quite small in comparison to what is needed to make this project financially fair to the tax payer.
I believe the Grizzlies are hoping that once the project reaches a certain point it will be past the point of no return with or without private support. It is then, if Cole gets his way, he will come in with an insulting small commitment.
If I am wrong about this I challenge (as the city should insist) Mr. Cole come clean now and show his true colors in regard to the Grizzlies financial commitment.
I might also add that there is no mention of any other private source of funding on the table to support this so is this really going to be a public/private venture or a bait and switch by the City Council at the taxpayers’ expense? Can we all say Convention Center.
The citizens of Gastonia need to contact their representatives and tell them loud and clear to not move forward until they get solid commitments from the private sector.
If the private sector is not willing to step up to the plate before this project goes much farther and the citizens of Gastonia allow this to happen they need to be prepared to dig into their wallets and pay more taxes by the time FUSE is completed.
Earlier this year, I was a co-author that outlined a rational and fiscally prudent way to proceed with FUSE. Apparently the city fathers have decided rational and fiscal prudence is not important.