Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hotel Utica Countdown: H+7 And Roefaro Speaks!

Utica Mayor David Roefaro has finally responded to questions about his handling of the Hotel Utica fiasco via a video at CNY Homepage. You'll find the clip over here under the title "The Link 8.19.08".

I'm assuming I'm the blogger referred to in the opening blurb, so I'd like to point out that I haven't claimed Mr. Roefaro promised to resolve the Hotel situation in his first 90 days in office. I've merely taken him at his word based on the May 15th, 2008 Observer-Dispatch article on the subject:

Mayor David Roefaro said in 90 days the city should have a resolution to Hotel Utica’s continuing pattern of falling behind on its tax and federal loan payments.

That self-imposed deadline ended last Wednesday.

As you can see from the clip, Mr. Roefaro doesn't think anyone should expect him to, you know, do what he said he would do. In fact, it appears he's now claiming that his earlier statement, or at least the version of it referenced in the OD story, didn't actually mean what it seemed to mean. He didn't promise a solution in 90 days, he just promised a "consensus" in 90 days.

Okay. I'll bite. What's the consensus?

Should the city foreclose on the Hotel Utica? Should the financing deal be renegotiated yet again? Should things just continue as they are? Amazingly, even after Mr. Roefaro lowers the bar down to reaching a "consensus" he still doesn't follow through!

Keep in mind that the city is paying $480,000 this year alone to service the Hotel's debt. That breaks down to just over $9000 a week, or around $1300 a day. In a city where significant chunks of downtown look like the post-apocalyptic ruins from a Mad Max film that money could be paying for desperately needed repairs and improvements. Instead, it's being dropped into a black hole never to be seen again.

So the Hotel Utica countdown continues. Without a resolution, without a "consensus", and without any foreseeable end. All to the tune of another $1300 in wasted tax dollars for every day that passes while Mayor Roefaro concentrates on planning parties and attending golf tournaments.