"...“A bit dog yelps.” That’s the exact phrase that came to mind after reading recent quotes from Greensboro City Council members, regarding Amanda Lemert’s investigation into this year’s $4.35 million economic incentive give away.
In December Lemert wrote an expose entitled Analysis: Incentives in 2013 cost city $4.35M. In her article she also detailed a proposal to spend another $7.85 million of taxpayer money on a luxury hotel in downtown Greensboro. Lemert didn’t hold back, stating: “The council has been willing to rewrite or break its own rules to fund certain projects.... This has become the year of the open wallet.”
...sounds like corruption to me. In fact, I asked my friends on Facebook for their ideas on economic incentives, which they described as unfair, bribery, a scam, crony capitalism, selective taxation, corporate welfare and campaign donations.
...I would be interested to see the list of organizations that were denied taxpayer money by our Greensboro City Council, because they seem to give it out to virtually everyone - from Skip Alston to Proctor and Gamble. They tried to give $300,000 to a tv station, but the deal fell through at the last minute. Also, there was the $150,000 in economic incentives that the city council tried to hand over to the clothing manufacturer Gerbings, which ended up refusing the deal.
According to local media reports Zack Matheny was quite agitated about the lengthy Gerbings incentive process. He complained that the process was too slow and that Gerbings was unsatisfied. In Matheny’s opinion the city attorney’s office was “not very business friendly.”
...The city council couldn’t give taxpayer dollars away fast enough, so now Councilman Matheny is promoting the idea that Greensboro is “not very business friendly.”
...Are we, the taxpaying citizens of Greensboro, being manipulated by our elected officials?
...until more people are willing to send e-mails and make phone calls to their council people, demanding that these types of political games are stopped, then we can expect more of the same.
Next time you hear about how savvy the political leaders in Greensboro are - by luring corporations through economic incentives - understand it for what it is: Wealth redistribution. Theft. Corporate welfare..."