Thursday, August 27, 2015

Taxpayers on Hook for Tigers Spring Training Overruns

Remember the $37 million Lakeland spring training renovations that were getting funded 100% by taxpayers?  Well, they still are.  It's just going to cost a lot more.

The Lakeland Ledger reports soil problems will add indefinite costs - and delays - to the project:
Under the terms of the contract, unexpected costs do not relieve either side of their obligations, though it expressly calls for mediation or renegotiation if the terms cannot be fulfilled.
Mayor Howard Wiggs said the project will hit its (2016 & 2017) deadlines.
The additional costs appear to be on the shoulders of the city and for those of you counting at home, the Tigers' share of Tigertown upgrades has now climbed all the way up to zero.

At least they're not the Orioles, who are already seeking more public money to upgrade the "next-generation" Camden Yards....

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  1. Part 1 of 2:
    Regarding the Orioles and Camden Yards,it makes me feel good that I sent the email below to John Angelos – COO of the Orioles – on 4/28/2015 during the Baltimore riots. Not surprisingly, I have not heard back from John.
    From: Scott Myers
    To: Orioles Customer Service
    Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:43 PM
    Subject: Orioles COO John Angelos offers eye-opening perspective on Baltimore protests – PLEASE FORWARD TO JOHN ANGELOS

    Hi John,

    Since I was unable to obtain your email address, I am hopeful that this message will get forwarded to you by ‘Orioles Customer Service’.

    BTW, do you have a direct email address that is available to the public?

    I read your very articulate message ( that you posted on twitter, shown below for convenient reference.

    You mention that the ‘American political elite’ are a significant part of the problem. Does that mean just government folks, or are some private enterprise folks included in this category as well?

    It should be noted, that Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers have paid hundreds of millions of dollars for Oriole Park at Camden Yards (96% of total cost) as well as for the Ravens stadium – M&T Bank Field (87% of total cost). Just think, if that money had gone instead to ‘hand up’ programs in Baltimore instead of making your family and Stephen Biscotti billionaires, how much good could have been done – maybe enough good to have avoided the ugly riot situation currently going on in the city. How many young citizens in Baltimore could have benefited from college scholarships? How many working parents could have benefited from having more affordable after school care programs? How many working parents could have purchased a car so that they could travel to better jobs? How many citizens could have gotten better health care?

    So, my take away from your statement below, unless you are a total hypocrite, is that your family will never ask the Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers for another dime to support your current ballpark or any future ballpark, and that you will never threaten to leave Baltimore because of lack of public financing. Can I count on you for that? If so, we only have about another 112 professional sports franchise owners to join with you so that the $2 billion per year transfer of wealth from taxpayers to billionaires will come to an end.

    Thanks for listening

  2. Part 2 of 2:
    John Angelos statement:
    Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.
    That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.
    The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.