posted on October 29, 2005 01:45
Carter, you got it partly right. But that’s as far as I’ll go. And I’ll resort to the oldest trick in politics: change the subject.
Because the Convention Center is a done deal. (Even though these stories about cost overruns don’t help the cause.)
And I’m not going to try to defend a $20 million subsidy to build a hotel downtown. I’ll invite somebody else to take on that challenge.
I will venture to guess that if the City Council approves the 42-story Glen-Tree project – which is a spectacular building – you’ll see competition from somebody (maybe RBC Centura?) to build a bigger building downtown. And that’s good for Raleigh.
What I would advise Democrats in Raleigh to do is take a page from Jim Hunt’s old playbook and do an end-around.
You say use the money for the $20 million hotel subsidy to build roads. I’m all for roads. But what people in the City of Raleigh really want is for an elected official to stand up and say our city schools are overcrowded and it’s time the city did more to solve that problem.
Apparently some schools are being built on city parkland. That’s a good start. But the city can do more.
Maybe that’s a good reason to approve the Glen-Tree project: It will generate tax revenues that could go to schools.
I know school construction is historically not the city’s responsibility. But it’s a serious problem, so it should become one of the city’s responsibilities. And it would be good politics for the Democrats who have a majority on the City Council today.