We have money for room service, but not public service

The City of Dayton leadership seems to be massively confused.

While on the one hand, we say we can’t pay police officers to protect and serve the public, we’re finding $7-10 million to refurb a hotel that doesn’t belong to us. A hotel that we could have bought outright for $6.1 million last year. Pure and simple, this is corporate welfare, not public welfare.

How long will it take the City Commission to realize: we’re not in the hotel business:

City officials are considering spending $7 million to $10 million to help the owner of the downtown Crowne Plaza renovate the aging hotel.

The hotel’s owner, Washington, D.C.-based CWCapital, approached the city about two months ago, said Shelley Dickstein, assistant city manager for strategic development.

“It is not a done deal and it will be a few weeks before we present anything to (the city) commissioners,” Dickstein said Wednesday, July 15, after a Dayton City Commission meeting.

City officials have visited a recently remodeled Crowne Plaza Hotel in Austin, Texas, and met with convention center officials there to learn the benefits and risks of the venture, she said.

Dickstein said money to help renovate the hotel would come from the city’s development fund. The total cost of the hotel’s renovations is unclear. The Montgomery County auditor values the land and building at about $4.1 million.

The property was sold in 2008 for $6.1 million to CWCapital, whose officials could not be reached for comment.

via Crowne Plaza may get aid from Dayton for renovation.

Not only that, somehow, we had money to fly officials to Austin Texas on a junket?

There is a real question as to if we should even be in the convention center business. Would the Convention Center be in better hands if it belonged to the County- or maybe the Chamber of Commerce? Sure, conventions bring business to Dayton, but that is transient business. The real business of City Hall is taking care of the people of Dayton, and from where I sleep every night, I’d sleep better with 11 more cops than nicer rooms at the Crowne Plaza.

What about you?

[UPDATE 5PM] The City of Dayton finally put out a press release correction- as a PDF on their site-

http://www.cityofdayton.org/cmo/Documents/City%20Manager%20Crowne%20Plaza%20Correction.pdf

The reality is they are still contributing tax dollars- only they are Federal tax dollars, to a private corporation. If this is the only way anything gets done, we’ll always be broke. It’s time to end all tax dollars to private companies in the name of “economic development.”

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