Fort Worth Business Press. Read it, YOU can't afford not to.
The folks at Fort Worth City Hall are trying to pull a fast one. Surprise, surprise, as the long-ago TV sitcom philosopher Gomer Pyle liked to say.
This is the same City Hall, after all, that hatched a $900 million economic development extravaganza disguised as a routine flood control project.
Their latest sleight of hand? They have decided to link a potentially controversial renovation of the bottomless money pit known as the Fort Worth Convention Center with a completely unrelated project that most taxpayers almost certainly will support: construction of a long-discussed multi-purpose arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in the Cultural District. Fortunately for alert citizens, the maneuver is as transparent as it is cynical.
City officials will attempt to cloud the waters at today’s pre-council meeting when city staff and representatives of the consulting group Hunden Strategic Partners brief the council on the latest study of the city’s potential as a convention and tourist center.
These questions deserve careful consideration and considerable public input. But city officials aren’t in the consideration and input business when it comes to such things. They want to press ahead with what they believe is best for the city, the public be damned.
In fact, the arena will do no such thing. There is no provision in the law for linking the new arena to demolition of an old arena at a separate facility in another part of town. The connection is just a fabrication by the city to give a project that could be hard to sell to the public a free ride on the back of a project that will be easy to sell. It would appear to be a perfectly legal political strategy but as public policy it’s subterfuge, pure and simple. It’s City Hall trying, again, to mislead and take advantage of its constituents.