Civic Center bonds tied to bridge purchase?

In response to my Outtakes (NEWEST CURMUDGEON ) on the Pensacola Civic Center bonds, Bill Davison sent in this email. Mr. Davison has been known to misstate the facts, especially when it comes to Pres. Bush, but  I’ve found his memory on county business to be pretty accurate.


Civic Center payments? Just in case you would really like to know:

Some years back Comm. “Airhead” Whitehead pushed to buy the Bob Sikes bridge. He bullhorned how much that would increase county revenue. Fact is, half of revenue goes to SRIA – other half to the county and a pittance to Gulf Breeze because the north end of the bridge is in Santa Rosa county.

But how did this deal really go down?

First, the county refinanced the Civic Center bonds. Of course, defeasing the bonds brought a few bucks to the county. That money was used as a security payment (approx. $330K) on the Bob Sikes bridge.

Now here’s the really interesting part.  Whitehead loudly ballyhooed how the refinancing saved the county money by lowering the interest rate. Well, the interest rate did decrease a small amount but…
The county had paid six payments somewhere around the $660K figure.
But alas, after the refinancing – what was the balance on the principal?
Why shucks, it was the exact same amount before the first $660K payment was ever made!

Another one of financial genius Whitehead’s good deals for we taxpayers, huh?

Now if you really want to investigate something interesting, check this out:
Road Improvement Bonds Series 1993A and 1993B. Betcha Ernie Lee Magaha has copies.

Both of these “Road Improvement” bonds plainly state that their $21 million total was for the purchase of the “Bob Sikes” bridge and… how were these two bonds going to be serviced? Hoo hah…… why with the county’s gasoline tax. It’s stated so right in the bonds!

Could that be why Whitehead and his courthouse mob will forever harp for penny sales taxes to pave north county roads?

I know, I’m just another low life “dirt roader” for believing that…..

bill davison