The daily newspaper has finally published the letter from City Attorney Wells that outlines how the referendum will not stop the stadium and instead puts “the city in a financially precarious situation.”
Marty Donovan dodges the question when he is asked about it. He does say that he and Jack Nobles met with Ed Gray about the New Market Tax Credits.
I talked with Gray about that meeting, which happened a couple of weeks ago. Gray told the couple that pulling the stadium out of the park would put the City in breach of its contractual agreements. The investors can’t afford any delays in construction because of the federal laws governing NMTC. The city would lose the nearly $12M in NMTC.
Gray said that Marty and Jack didn’t seem to care. They told him that they had another use for the $15M but wouldn’t say what it was. Gray told them there isn’t enough time for the City and the CMPA to redesign the park, get public input and still meet the deadlines. He would be glad to try and get more NMTC for their new project. However, the stadium needs to be built.
So if Jack and Marty knew two weeks ago that their petition would cost the City and the maritime park $12 million in NMTC, why didn’t they tell the voters of Pensacola? Why didn’t they put that on their website? Why didn’t Luke McCoy say it in his Robo Call?
If Marty and Jack want the $15M for a pet project of their own, shouldn’t they tell us? Why isn’t the public being told what they want the money for? Shouldn’t they hold town hall meetings like Jack Fetterman and Quint Studer did from Jan-April in 2005?
Marty, C.C. Elebash and Charlie Fairchild said in 2006 that they were against backroom deals – which is what they claimed the CMP plan was. Yet here Marty is meeting with Ed Gray, doesn’t tell his supporters or the voters about his meeting, finds out the City will lose the $12M in NMTC and actually has a secret plan on how to spend $15 million of the $38M the CMPA has been given—nearly half—for a project that he and Jack want.
This is crazy. Marty hasn’t been honest and open with the voters of Pensacola…or his supporters.
BTW: The NMTC – $11.8+M – is almost equal to the cost of the stadium. That money is the equivalent of getting the stadium for free. It allows the CMPA to build the marina, breakwater, amphitheater and other amenities.