Monday, February 19, 2007

A stupid comment about the Tap business - honestly, some people have no clue

I wrote a post about the American Tap business and got this stupid reply.
How much would eminent domain cost in legal fees? How many years would it take? Then they would have paid Henry his $150k at the end. I'm sorry, your argument doesn't hold water in the real world.

There is no court in the word that would make a city pay that much more than the assessed value of a property in an imminent domain action. I'm afraid your argument doesn't hold water in the real world. Or, at least, you should have to follow the rules of your own blog about providing documentation for such a silly claim.

And if you're really worried about legal fees on such an action, I wonder what you feel about the mayor's absolutely unrealistic plan to seize power lines (which has no basis in reality).

The city should have paid as much as it took, it isn't the cost of the building that counts. It is the cost of not doing it.

Wow, what horrible logic is this? If this is the way the city were to do business, why wouldn't every profit-monger take over buildings, let them deteriorate, and then hold out until the city pays "whatever it takes?" Talk about a formula for pure disaster.

Maybe the council rules should be changed so if one person does show up there is no voting? Oh wait, there are rules about this already. The vote on the Tap was 5-2 (Maggie and Sheila against wasn't it?).

Not as I understand it, no. Its not the only time decisions have been made without the full council. To wit, the council hasn't heard word one about Target's supposed $6 million dollar ransom that the mayor mentioned at the candidate forum on Friday. That's not the way our government is supposed to function.
The bold words are mine in the above quote. I really get tired explaining the simple facts to commenter's sometimes.

You go to court and the property owner shows up with an expert witness that knows the property values in the area. The expert says the clerk who guessed at the appraised value is wrong and here is the right number. The expert is better then the clerk and the price goes up.

The reason you are in court is the city has no good reason to eminent domain on the property. They don't have a road to build, city hall to expand or any other reason to take away the property rights of the owner. So you are going to lose there too.

If Brad's plan to take over the power lines pencils out, I'm for it. What I mean by pencil out is the city goes and borrows the money in low interest bonds, then pays the bond holders back from the revenue from the lines, it would be a good idea. If the tax payers make money by doing it, I'm for it. I own the old CIPS office building and as fat as I have written SIU is and as fat as the City of Carbondale is, "our power company" is wasting more money. It wouldn't be very hard to make Brad's idea a commercial success.

I'm working on researching Brad's repaving project for Carbondale. If it is cheaper and better, I'm for it too.

About paying more for the Tap -
My point is called "opportunity costs" and is a business concept so basic that it is taught in business 101 classes. Here is the basic idea, that something is worth as much as someone will pay for it. Things are not worth the sum of their basic parts. For example, if you buy a tee-shirt, you might pay $5 or $200 for almost exactly the same tee-shirt.

If the city bought the Tap for $1M, but make an additional $1M per year in revenue, that would be a good deal. The city paid $50k to much for the tap (worst case), but is certain to have made well more then that in sales tax revenue each year, because of the revitalization of downtown. If the city makes the extra money back very quickly, it is a good investment.

You get it now? This is called capitalism and it works.

On the way the city council works -
I don't think you have any idea of how our city council should and does work. You show me a law that says every piece of day to day information should be shared to every city council member and citizen. Where are the thresholds of sharing information, I assume you don't want a press release every time the city changes the oil in a car. The bigger the organization, the more effort it takes to communicate. Once you are above a certain size, there is no way to communicate effectively in the absolute way you seem to be seeking.

Do you want a city government that does work or one that communicates how little they are doing in a nice way. Seems like that is our mayor's race at the most basic level. Personally, I want them to have new ideas and do good things. Lots of meetings asking for uninformed opinions is for losers.


Anonymous said...

First, I'm a little young, so I want to make sure I have this correct: "American Tap" was kitty corner to Sidetracks? Where that empty parking lot now sits? I'm 95% sure I am correct. Based on that, I have these statements/questions. You're post focuses on the fact that buying that property would create jobs and enhance the strip. So, did we hire more police to sit in that parking lot when American Tap was shut down, because the police are the only people who use it? Does anyone other than the towing company make money when people get towed from parking there? How exactly are we making this money back? How does a vacant parking lot make the strip look more appealing? To put it simply, the city should have bought this property at the price the building was appraised for. That way, we get rid of the property (as we should have) but we also don't lose millions of dollars while we sit and hope for a business to buy that property, create jobs, and enhance the environment.

Peter in Carbondale said...

No, it was on the West side of Illinois, just South of El Greco's.

If you don't get it by now, you never will. Read it again and/or find someone older to help you.

Anonymous said...

Quick FYI. The vote was 5-1 and Simon was absent. She may have been in Bangladesh at the time. Though, it seems clear she would have voted against it by now. Here's a link to the minutes