Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Davis Asks Some Tough Questions

(Presented to the council during the visitors section of last nights meeting)


Below is the information I presented during the visitors section at last night's council meeting and the questions that I posed. I meant to have a copy for you last night.

Richardson is a wonderful place to live and I know we all want it to continue to be just that; as well as being an open, transparent city government that works for the benefit of the taxpayers and gives them the biggest bang for their buck. I know that you all take your fiduciary responsibilities to the taxpayer very seriously and want to make good on the promises and initiatives discussed during the campaign forums.

I look forward to hearing back on the questions below...

The Hotel/Motel Tax Fund incurred an estimated operating shortfall of (457.6M) in 2008-2009 and has a budgeted operating shortfall of (151.6M) in 2009-2010.

On a stand-alone basis, the Eisemann Center and parking facility generated an estimated operating shortfall of (1.9MM) in 2008-2009 and has a projected operating shortfall of (2.0MM) in 2009-2010.

This follows an operating shortfall for the Eisemann Center and parking facility of (1.5MM) in 2007-2008, which is before debt service and indicates a growing cash drain on city finances.

How much has the city invested in the Eisemann Center and parking structure vs. private sector investment in these projects?

How much public debt is outstanding involving what specific C.O. issuances on these projects?

What are the annual debt service requirements for these projects?

Given 5.7MM in total developer incentives and infrastructure improvement rebates in 2008-2009, an unknown amount in 2009-2010, and in recognition of tax abatements granted on the still-vacant TI plant, the Palsul Development-related below FMV land swap, the Eastside developer land give-away, the much-chronicled StarTech Joint Venture, along with other ED projects....

When can the tax payers expect to see sufficient positive economic returns on THEIR sizeable investments in the Eisemann Center and these other investments?


Chris Davis


  1. William J. 'Bill' McCalpinAugust 11, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    Just a note, Destiny, to say that when Chris writes M, she means "thousands" (as in "mille"), and when she writes "MM", she means "millions". Thus, when she wrote "The Hotel/Motel Tax Fund incurred an estimated operating shortfall of (457.6M)", she was referring to $457,600 (or so), while "(1.9MM)" refers to $1.9 million.

    Last night, as she read her comments at the Council Workshop in the Visitor's Section, she stated aloud that "The Hotel/Motel Tax Fund incurred an estimated operating shortfall of four hundred fifty-seven point six million dollars", which rather took me aback, and she continued through the rest of her statement using "million" for both "M" and "MM".

    Now that I see the script in writing, I understand what happened. Just an FYI for anyone who hears an audio version of the meeting and wonders about the discrepancy...


  2. I'd be interestedd in the answers Ms.Davis receives on her questions in re: the Eisemann Center, and its parking garage(assuming such answers are forthcoming prior to this commenter's demise).

    Like also to hear the latest on the vacant TI chip building--any nibbles on purchasing it, given it's only use is the manufacture of such chips and nothing else-- maybe very expensive storage??

  3. It always such a joy to have Bill McCalpin weigh in on an issue - all in 50,000 words or less. He has no credibility concerning any thoughts on Chris Davis in my book because:

    (1) he and his wife served as campaign managers for Chris' opponent, Slagel-puppet John Murphy,
    (2) Bill's writings here and on other blogs always have that Richardson Calition "everything is great now that Gary is mayor again" attitude in them.

    I know plenty of folks that know him and his parents have been very disappointed by his comments. Rather than representing the future, Bill holds on to the past. Why he would cast his lots with old timer Slagel and his puppet Murphy is totally perplexing to me. I used to have a lot of respect for Bill.

  4. After reading these entries and the ones concerning Bill Keffler, I think that I get a gold star for not trashing Amir Omar for, what, at least two or three days. OK - that carpetbagger, opportunist. Whoa, I feel better now.

  5. barb, there is still hope for you. :)

    Did Chris even get any answers? If so, I must have overlooked them.

    Time for something else. Sometimes when reading abbreviations, my mind wonders a bit wondering what the abbreviations mean, and then I get it, after a few funny thoughts.

    "..the much-chronicled StarTech Joint Venture, along with other ED projects.."

    City Council ---> Much chronicled StarTech ---> Gary Slagel ---> ED ---> hmmm, how would she know about that? ---> ayah, never mind, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT! ---> ok, now what was she saying?



  6. William J. 'Bill' McCalpinAugust 17, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    @anonymous on August 16th:

    As always, when an anonymous person attacks someone in a blog, but doesn't have the courage to give his/her name, well, you know that the person being attacked must be doing something right.

    What is amazing here is that the Brave Anonymous Defender of Whatever is busy attacking me for no reason. I was sitting about 4 feet away from Ms. Davis when she read her statement to the Council. When she read aloud that the hotel fund had a shortfall of 457 million dollars, I looked around the room, and the expression on the faces of everyone who knew anything about the budget showed that they were wondering just what the heck she was talking about, as 457 million dollars is about 2 1/2 times larger than the entire City budget. Indeed, even Ms. Davis faltered in reading the script at this point as it didn't sound right to her either.

    Once the transcript of what Ms. Davis was reading was posted here, I saw what had happened - she misread "M" as "million" instead of "thousand". So I clarified without prejudice what had happened.

    Making comments about John Murphy, my wife, and my parents are the typically totally irrelevant statements that anonymous posters make when they don't have anything else to say. And pretending that he/she used to have a "lot of respect" for me is just laughable, as it is clear the anonymous blogger - desperately hoping that no one figures out who he/she is - has his/her own personal agenda that does NOT involve coming clean with the citizens of Richardson.

    Hiding your identity means that you have something to hide - how can anyone trust anything such a person says?


  7. I came into the meeting as Chris was speaking and I wondered why she was stumbling over her own written words. Also, why did she misread the "M" and the "MM". Then it dawned on me why; those were not her words or her "M" or "MM". She was reading what someone else had written for her. In fact, the more she spoke, the more she sounded like our past councilmember Jim Shepherd who use to sound when he would bring up this subject. Chris Davis channelling Jim Shephard, spooky.

  8. Too bad more councilmen don't channel Jim, or at least, be as thoughtful as he was.