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Politicians aren’t the only ones who know how to ‘spin’ facts. The City of Raleigh is doing a pretty good job too. The headline of its latest newsletter is an example: Officials Approve Increase of Less Than 3 Percent in Convention Center Funding.

The city ‘spinners’ made it sound like that little ole’ 3 percent spending increase was barely a drop in the bucket. You’d never guess it was $6.4 million. And you’d never know from the Raleigh’s spinmeisters that Mayor Meeker’s Convention Center, which is only one-fourth built, is already 23 percent over budget. (The cost has soared from $180 million to $221 million.)

You may be thinking the city didn’t have much choice about spending the latest $6 million. After all, they’re in the middle of construction and they can’t stop when they find out the roof costs more. Think again. The additional money isn’t for the roof or shoring up footings – it’s for a stone floor in the lobby (a million dollars), kitchen equipment, skylights, canopies and so on.

It’s hard to find the silver lining in this cloud but, maybe, there is one. Hopefully, next election, Charles Meeker’s opponent will ask him bluntly, Why did you spend $6 million on canopies and a stone floor, instead of schools or roads? The Mayor will need a lot more than just ‘spin’ to answer that question. And, if he can’t, maybe that will save us from Meeker’s latest boondoggle – developing Dix Hill with $40 million of taxpayers’ money.


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