Friday, February 15, 2019

A $23 million hole in the Metro budget as land sales fail

by Mike Reicher, The Tennessean - Nashville Mayor David Briley’s attempt to plug a $23 million budget shortfall by selling publicly-owned real estate isn’t going so well. 

One sale was scrapped by community opposition. Another parcel attracted just a single bidder and sold well under the appraised value. A third received no bids at all. .... Briley hasn’t said how he will cover the year’s operating expenses without the proceeds,... At-large councilman John Cooper criticized how the city sold the parcels through its online auction platform. That system is typically used to dispose of unused office furniture, school buses and other surplus city property. 

Rod's Comment: To summarized the rest of the article, one reason we could not sale the property in addition to trying to sell it on a webpage normally used to sell surplus office furniture, is that the city required the sale to close within 30 days. Usually a lot of due-diligence goes into such a sale on the part of the buyer and such a sale would take six months to close. Also, Metro requires ten percent down which is about double what would be required in a normal sale.

Selling property to fund operating budgets is a bad idea. Using one-time money for reoccurring expenses is just not wise. We have been terribly mismanaged and continue to be. We are having massive cost overruns on projects, we are paying consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars on days they spend socializing with Metro officials, we let contracts without taking bids, we spend $60 million dollars to build three and half miles of sidewalk, and we give million of dollars in "incentives" to one of the richest companies in the world. At the same time all of this is happening, we are understaffed in police protection, our roads are falling apart, we have not added new fire halls to reflect the city's growth, Metro employees could not get a promised cost of living raise, and our schools are failing.

It is time for a change in leadership and new mechanisms need to be put in place so it is less easy to hide mismanagement and corruption.

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