Friday, August 7, 2009

Dueling memos: Gorman vs. Jones

In Charlotte, discussions about pending land deals involving local governments typically occur out of the public eye, whether in staff meetings or closed-door sessions.

But a dispute about a proposed agreement between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg County became public earlier this week when schools Superintendent Peter Gorman sent a letter to County Manager Harry Jones.

In a nutshell, Gorman said the district is hesitant to give the county land it owns on Brevard Street for a planned First Ward development because of concerns about money owed by the county for another piece of school property.

He also discusses other concerns about cuts in this year's school budget and future spending on construction.

Click here to read Gorman's letter.

The county owes CMS $13.75 million for the Education Center, property the district gave up as part of a county deal to help bring minor-league baseball to uptown. And with a Dec. 31, 2010 deadline to move out of the building creeping closer, school leaders want to know when they'll get the money.

County officials said they intend to pay CMS, but have limited money right now due to the economy and a slowdown in spending for construction. The county had borrowed $9.5 million toward the debt for the Ed Center in 2008.

But earlier this year, the county scaled back its borrowing for construction and the $9.5 million it had on hand for the new offices was used to help finish school projects already underway.

County Manager Harry Jones said he'll recommend giving the $13.75 million as part of next year's budget talks.

Click here to read the Jones memo.

It is unclear whether the pledge from Jones will be enough to convince school leaders to agree to the new First Ward land deal. Gorman said Thursday he didn't know if the item would come up in closed session at next week's school board meeting.

- April Bethea


Anonymous said...

The County called CMS and offered the $9.5 million as a portion of the total for the Office move of $13.75 million. CMS agreed to take the $9.5 bu then decided to 're-direct' the $9.5 million to school construction because (according to County staff) they were worried about public anger if they spent $9.5 million on an 'office building'.

After CMS redirected the money they began to privately talk with the owner of an office complex on Nations Ford Road that they would like to buy for $30 million.

Since they 're-directed' the $9.5 they are using the Levine land situation to extort ANOTHER $9.5 million out of the County.

In addition, CMS refuses to revise its 10 year building plan to reflect reality. It must be cut by over 50% given the current economic reality and the County's new FIXED bond sale limits.

Should CMS get an extra $9.5 million for extorting the County?

I don't think so but extortion sometimes works so we shall see.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so finally the "Complicated Land Swap (R)" is coming unraveled. This deal should never have occured behind closed doors in the first place. What a sham. The losers here are not the county or CMS, but every citizen of Charlotte/Mecklenburg. Your public and gov't resources are being given away to private interests. WAKE UP

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:04 sure sounds like Bill James

diggndeeper said...

Anon 4:04 So what if it is BJ but he is usually honest enough to fess up by using his CO name. However, this information is truthful. What is wrong with knowing the truth?

Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you! Increasing your web traffic and page views Add, add your website in site, it's pretty awesome too!