Winners and Losers

Former City Manager and current Chair of the Steering Committee of the Borderplex Alliance Joyce Wilson would like you to believe that she’s being unfairly picked on for delaying the sale of bonds to finance the ballpark, costing taxpayers maybe $27 million.

Unfair? Well, I guess it depends on which side of the fence you’re on.

City government has gotten into the business of picking winners and losers.

When the City financed the ballpark, they funneled income away from existing businesses into the pockets of the few well-connected individuals with an interest in the baseball team. People buying eight dollar beers at the ballpark aren’t spending that money at Monarch or Love Buzz or the Tipsy Tiger. People eating a hot dog at the ballpark aren’t dining at Good Coffee, or La Morena, or the Tap.

Ironically, the ballpark even siphoned customers from other downtown entertainment options, like the bars and restaurants in Union Plaza.

Business on Cincinnati Street dried up. The bar owners there got caught between an uptick in rents and a downturn in revenues.

The pie’s not getting any bigger. Those new hotels and apartments downtown aren’t being built to accommodate a sudden surge in city-wide demand for hotels and apartments. Our city reps can congratulate themselves for creating new businesses, but they only did it at the expense of existing businesses.

Ms. Wilson complains the the ballpark destroyed her career. Tell that to the mom-and-pops that are struggling to pay their property taxes because they’re competing with a business subsidized by their tax dollars.

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