Market House Money Pit

| February 22, 2012 | 1 Comment

In response to yesterday’s meeting where the City Council agreed to seek a $300,000 budget transfer to fund the Market House, we received the following letter which was sent to Ward 8 Alderman, Ross Arnett. It has been re-published here with the author’s permission:

Ross:

Thanks for trying to prevent what will likely be another $300,000 wasted on the Market House.

I guess Isreal’s solution is a Market House lockbox of sorts, where all the imaginary profits from the Market House will be kept.  I suspect that, like the Social Security lockbox, it will remain empty, except for a bunch of IOU’s from politicians – as is the city’s $40 million employee benefit lockbox and several other pension funds.

If I am to correctly understand what Finlayson and Isreal passed, the city (since it has no money) is going to borrow $300,000 so they can loan it to the Market House to start a yet to be determined business with yet to be named tenants and yet to be defined terms of repayment – all based on Sharoff’s speculation that an average of 550 customers will go through the Market House 7 days a week, 365 days a year, meaning that if you have bad weather, or holidays that might limit the number of patrons, we must have times when Mr. Sharoff expects literally thousands of people to buy something at the Market House in a single day.  Frankly, common sense tells us that’s never going to happen.  You might get 200 people an hour to go through a Wal-Mart, but not the Market House.

I understand that Mr. Sharoff is an experienced business man.  But today, he had the finance committee approve another $300,000 to once again remodel the Market House, even though he had no prospective tenants, no business model, no balance sheet, no marketing plan, no RFP, nothing really other than some pie in the sky hope that if we move the sewer pipes and electrical outlets, then add two more toilets, suddenly 200,000 people a year would flock to revel in what he calls the “magic” of the Market House.  With all due respect, there isn’t a board room in America that would give him $3, let alone $300,000 based on that kind of proposal.  I think the only “magic” we’re going to see at the Market House is another $300,000 of the taxpayer’s money vanishing into thin air.

–Bob McWilliams

 

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