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(The Oakland Press)   Step 1) Become emergency manager of Pontiac, MI and sell the Silverdome for 1% of its cost. Step 2) Partner with the guy you sold it to and build a casino there. Step 3) PROFIT (Optional Step 4: Wonder why the hell this is legal)   (theoaklandpress.com) divider line 110
    More: Asinine, Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Clinton Township, financial adviser, emergency managers, Michigan, ballot initiatives  
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3977 clicks; posted to Politics » on 12 May 2012 at 6:20 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-12 12:13:01 PM

LibertyHiller: One more time for people outside of Michigan: a city has to be totally farked for the State to come in an appoint an emergency manager.


So why do it? What purpose do they serve? They are not making the cities any better.
 
2012-05-12 12:42:27 PM

Alphax: LibertyHiller: One more time for people outside of Michigan: a city has to be totally farked for the State to come in an appoint an emergency manager.

So why do it?


It's a form of receivership under the control of the state government, rather than the federal bankruptcy courts.

What purpose do they serve? They are not making the cities any better.

Their job is to keep things from collapsing altogether, not to make everything sunshine and roses.

Smackledorfer: This BUT there is still no reason for a government selling it that low instead of holding it.


If the mayor had signed the deal in July of 2008, the city would have had $19.5 million more that it wound up with in the end. But then again, mid-2009 was a much different story for both credit and real estate, wasn't it?

This is exactly my fear of EMFs. Making decisions that are overly short term and don't serve the city.

The city needed cash from somewhere fast to keep the lights on; what other assets did the city have to liquidate?

But I also agree with Nyquil's post above.

Nyquil's spot on, except for the "illegal and wrong" bit. It's legal, and its morality is debatable at worst.
 
2012-05-12 12:43:19 PM

LibertyHiller: quatchi: However, the city announced in October 2009 that the property would go to auction with no minimum bid,

[wtfamireading?]

Who made that decision?

Here's the 2002-2009 timeline, from Metro Times:

Jan. 6, 2002 - The Detroit Lions play their final game at the Silverdome, a 15-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys, before moving to Ford Field.

May 2002 - Online bidding begins for potential purchasers and developers for the Silverdome site.

July 2003 - Three finalists in the first-round bidding appear at a public forum to present their proposals which include offices, retail, restaurants, technology businesses, a hotel, an aquarium and convention space among the plans.

November 2004 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association holds its last football finals at the Silverdome, moving them to Ford Field in 2005. High school teams had played at the dome since 1976.

June 2005-February 2006 - The two remaining proposals from the July 2003 bidding deadline are withdrawn.

March 2007 - The Silverdome officially closes.

October 2007 - Nine bidders say they are interested in the site during the second round of bidding.

March 2008 - Seven plans are proposed at the deadline of the third round of bidding, including baseball, a casino, an indoor water park, horse racing, a convention center and a research park.

July 2008 - The Pontiac City Council votes 4-2 in favor of the potential $20 million Silverdome sale to Bloomfield Hills attorney H. Wallace Parker's Silver Stallion Development Corp. Mayor Clarence Phillips vetoes it. The City Council overrides the veto.

November 2008 - The deadline for the dome's sale to Silver Stallion passes without the city and the group making a deal.

March 2009 - Gov. Jennifer Granholm appoints Fred Leeb as Pontiac's emergency financial manager.

June 2009 - Emergency Financial Manager Fred Leeb announces plans to auction off the dome and plug its drain on city finances.

Sept. 3, 2009 - The Pontiac City Council unanimously rejects Leeb' plan to auction the site with no minimum bid required. Leeb has the authority to proceed anyway..


Thank you for that.

So... the Mayor and Leeb then.

Emergency Financial Managers sound like people who read The Shock Doctrine and took it as a how-to primer.

Disaster capitalism raping the common good for private gain yet again.

How long can the media keep promoting this kind of thing as tolerable?

Phillips needs to go.

Preferably out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered.

Leeb needs to go to jail. He won't. Just saying.
 
2012-05-12 12:48:17 PM

LibertyHiller: Their job is to keep things from collapsing altogether, not to make everything sunshine and roses.


Doesn't look like they're doing even that tiny bit.
 
2012-05-12 01:01:49 PM

Alphax: LibertyHiller: Their job is to keep things from collapsing altogether, not to make everything sunshine and roses.

Doesn't look like they're doing even that tiny bit.


Given what they have to work with, it could be so much worse than it is. Remember that the object here is to avoid a complete default on obligations. It's hard enough to sell muni bonds from Michigan as it is; the last thing anyone (D or R) wants is for a Flint or Pontiac to fark over their bondholders, because that will hammer Bloomfield Hills, East Grand Rapids and the Grosse Pointes as well.
 
2012-05-12 01:05:50 PM

LibertyHiller: If the mayor had signed the deal in July of 2008, the city would have had $19.5 million more that it wound up with in the end. But then again, mid-2009 was a much different story for both credit and real estate, wasn't it?


LibertyHiller: The city needed cash from somewhere fast to keep the lights on; what other assets did the city have to liquidate?


I find it hard to believe that the ONLY options were to give away the silverdome at that steep a discount or shut down completely. That smacks of the same false dichotomy every city council presents on a yearly basis when it comes to raising taxes or fire all the teachers, firefighters, and policemen. That said, I admit I don't have the time to access and study the full finances of everything in this situation (and assume you don't either). This happened years ago.

Even in a bad financial situation, there are always still choices, and rarely just two of them. There are plenty of things that one doesn't sell. "oh I'm having a bad month, let me tear up my walls to sell the copper wiring. I don't have a choice". Things weren't good in 2009, but they weren't 'silverdome only worth 500k' bad, and even if that was the true value of it at that moment in time, I don't believe things were 'we can't possibly take a long-term view and hold this property for a couple more years and get 10 times that' bad.

I could be wrong, but we are both making assertions here, and I'm guessing neither of us going to be providing full citations as to every available option the EMF had.

LibertyHiller: It's legal


Well, it depends. The putting in charge of an EMF is certainly legal. He has broad powers. However, can he misuse them? Lets use a less grey situation than this. Lets say a city is in bankruptcy, an EMF gets put in charge, and he sells everything off with no-bid no-auction contracts to his friends. He probably has the power to do it, and you probably can't prove absolutely that he wasn't acting in the best interest of keeping those lights on and avoiding full bankruptcy. But he is only appointed that position for a purpose, and with a goal, and if his actions are not with that goal first in mind and his personal gains second (and really, they should be zero beyond a salary for the job), I would say he is no longer acting as the EMF, and his decisions should no longer be considered legal.

Maybe I need more caffeine to explain what I'm trying to say there.
 
2012-05-12 01:11:30 PM

LibertyHiller: 5) The city went into receivership in February 2009 and the stadium was sold in October. Quick question: what else happened between early 2008 and late 2009 that might have affected the ability to get top dollar for the Silverdome?


Black guy trashed the economy? :0
 
2012-05-12 01:17:55 PM

LibertyHiller: Given what they have to work with, it could be so much worse than it is. Remember that the object here is to avoid a complete default on obligations. It's hard enough to sell muni bonds from Michigan as it is; the last thing anyone (D or R) wants is for a Flint or Pontiac to fark over their bondholders, because that will hammer Bloomfield Hills, East Grand Rapids and the Grosse Pointes as well.


Yes, god forbid the folks in Bloomfield Hills be affected by anything at all. This state has been a mess of people taking money from the cities since the 1960s (both people taking their money and leaving the city asap, and people within the city being corrupt). By the look of things, the EMFs are no different, they just have the power and lack of accountability to be even more obvious as they do it.

I'm not suggesting I have a good solution. If the cities suck, those with the skills and talent to do ok in the city will take them elsewhere and do better. The cities need to shrink in size and population. They are shrinking in the latter, but not the former, unfortunately. I'm not going to point to the finger at racism today, not solely at least (there is still plenty of dog whistling and welfare queen stereotyping), but I will say it all traces back to the white flight and the suburbs taking wealth out of the cities.
 
2012-05-12 01:18:41 PM

Satanic_Hamster: LibertyHiller: 5) The city went into receivership in February 2009 and the stadium was sold in October. Quick question: what else happened between early 2008 and late 2009 that might have affected the ability to get top dollar for the Silverdome?

Black guy trashed the economy? :0


Well, you are talking to a guy who brags about his parents fleeing detroit with the rest of the whites :P
 
2012-05-12 01:19:35 PM

LibertyHiller: Alphax: LibertyHiller: Their job is to keep things from collapsing altogether, not to make everything sunshine and roses.

Doesn't look like they're doing even that tiny bit.

Given what they have to work with, it could be so much worse than it is. Remember that the object here is to avoid a complete default on obligations. It's hard enough to sell muni bonds from Michigan as it is; the last thing anyone (D or R) wants is for a Flint or Pontiac to fark over their bondholders, because that will hammer Bloomfield Hills, East Grand Rapids and the Grosse Pointes as well.


The object according to whom? You sound like Mitt Romney, stripping an acquisition of its assets.
 
2012-05-12 01:20:46 PM
The governor of Michigan argues that if there is an area of Michigan in financial crisis, he can appoint an emergency manager who is essentially the dictator of the area overriding the elected officials. This is what makes sense to Republicans. Great.

So Republicans would be cool with a law that if a state were in financial crisis, Obama could appoint an emergency manager for the state? Seriously, I want to see Obama nail Romney and link him to the Republican party on this. How would Romney feel about Obama being able to do that and why is that different than a state government doing it to city governments?
 
2012-05-12 01:22:27 PM
Keep in mind also that the Silverdome was costing the city something like $1m/year just to keep it from becoming the world's biggest crack house.

Not sure why they felt the need to keep the dome inflated all that time though with nobody using it. Surely they could have cut costs there.
 
2012-05-12 01:29:12 PM

lennavan: The governor of Michigan argues that if there is an area of Michigan in financial crisis, he can appoint an emergency manager who is essentially the dictator of the area overriding the elected officials. This is what makes sense to Republicans. Great.

So Republicans would be cool with a law that if a state were in financial crisis, Obama could appoint an emergency manager for the state? Seriously, I want to see Obama nail Romney and link him to the Republican party on this. How would Romney feel about Obama being able to do that and why is that different than a state government doing it to city governments?


The law itself goes back to 1990 Link (it was changed in 2011 to give additional powers) Also former Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Emergency Mangers, and she was a Democrat. Link So it has been used by people from BOTH parties in the state. But some people do have issues with the new powers that were signed into law by Governor Snyder who is a Republican
 
2012-05-12 01:30:28 PM

lennavan: The governor of Michigan argues that if there is an area of Michigan in financial crisis, he can appoint an emergency manager who is essentially the dictator of the area overriding the elected officials. This is what makes sense to Republicans. Great.

So Republicans would be cool with a law that if a state were in financial crisis, Obama could appoint an emergency manager for the state? Seriously, I want to see Obama nail Romney and link him to the Republican party on this. How would Romney feel about Obama being able to do that and why is that different than a state government doing it to city governments?


I'm not saying I agree with their views, but that would be a political freebie for Romney. He could preach states rights, point out that Obama is more in favor of the federal government coming down on states than he is. Then he would easily point out that states set up their own internal governments and state constitutions, and that elected representatives of Michigan put the EMF laws into effect themselves.
 
2012-05-12 01:32:11 PM
Subby, you are far too nice by the way. The silverdome sold for 0.25% of its cost. It cost $55 million back in 1975, which is $220 million in 2009 dollars.

And a year before that there were two bids, one at $18 million and another at $12 million.

wxboy: Not sure why they felt the need to keep the dome inflated all that time though with nobody using it.


Because people were using it. Duh.
 
2012-05-12 01:32:54 PM
Wonder why the hell this is legal

Because idiot voters let them get away with it. When you get down to it, that's why ANY of this crap happens, because nobody loses his job, goes to prison, or pays a penalty in any way. Until now. Like or hate the Tea Party, you have to admit that it's gotten the politicians' attention now that it seems to be a threat to the old way of doing business.
 
2012-05-12 01:35:30 PM

Smackledorfer: I'm not saying I agree with their views, but that would be a political freebie for Romney. He could preach states rights, point out that Obama is more in favor of the federal government coming down on states than he is. Then he would easily point out that states set up their own internal governments and state constitutions, and that elected representatives of Michigan put the EMF laws into effect themselves.


The obvious rebuttal is the citizens of Michigan have tried to get EMF laws repealed as a state wide vote but were denied because the font size for on section on their application with hundreds of thousands of signatures was incorrect.

No seriously, because the font size was wrong.
 
2012-05-12 01:41:12 PM

lennavan: Because people were using it.


Not for anything more than the occasional boat show or whatever. The parking lot was getting far more use.
 
2012-05-12 01:48:19 PM

Smackledorfer: Satanic_Hamster: LibertyHiller: 5) The city went into receivership in February 2009 and the stadium was sold in October. Quick question: what else happened between early 2008 and late 2009 that might have affected the ability to get top dollar for the Silverdome?

Black guy trashed the economy? :0

Well, you are talking to a guy who brags about his parents fleeing detroit with the rest of the whites :P


They fled Detroit for Saginaw, so there's not much to brag about, is there?

Smackledorfer: Yes, god forbid the folks in Bloomfield Hills be affected by anything at all. This state has been a mess of people taking money from the cities since the 1960s (both people taking their money and leaving the city asap, and people within the city being corrupt). By the look of things, the EMFs are no different, they just have the power and lack of accountability to be even more obvious as they do it.

I'm not suggesting I have a good solution. If the cities suck, those with the skills and talent to do ok in the city will take them elsewhere and do better. The cities need to shrink in size and population. They are shrinking in the latter, but not the former, unfortunately. I'm not going to point to the finger at racism today, not solely at least (there is still plenty of dog whistling and welfare queen stereotyping), but I will say it all traces back to the white flight and the suburbs taking wealth out of the cities.


Except that the latter process started a long time before white flight. As soon as it was possible to live in the country and work in the city (see: streetcar suburbs) people were going to do that and take their money with them.

How does one "shrink" a city?

Alphax: LibertyHiller: Alphax: LibertyHiller: Their job is to keep things from collapsing altogether, not to make everything sunshine and roses.

Doesn't look like they're doing even that tiny bit.

Given what they have to work with, it could be so much worse than it is. Remember that the object here is to avoid a complete default on obligations. It's hard enough to sell muni bonds from Michigan as it is; the last thing anyone (D or R) wants is for a Flint or Pontiac to fark over their bondholders, because that will hammer Bloomfield Hills, East Grand Rapids and the Grosse Pointes as well.

The object according to whom? You sound like Mitt Romney, stripping an acquisition of its assets.


This might help you. The key word here is "sustainable."
 
2012-05-12 01:49:19 PM

lennavan: Smackledorfer: I'm not saying I agree with their views, but that would be a political freebie for Romney. He could preach states rights, point out that Obama is more in favor of the federal government coming down on states than he is. Then he would easily point out that states set up their own internal governments and state constitutions, and that elected representatives of Michigan put the EMF laws into effect themselves.

The obvious rebuttal is the citizens of Michigan have tried to get EMF laws repealed as a state wide vote but were denied because the font size for on section on their application with hundreds of thousands of signatures was incorrect.

No seriously, because the font size was wrong.



My point was that Romney doesn't even have to respond to whether he likes or supports EMFs in principle at all. As for font size, he can take two sidesteps to that too. FIrst, that even with the petition to get them repealed, pretty much everything the EMFs have done has been done prior to that going through, with or without being slowed down on technicality. Second, That delay is under appeal right now, so Romney can point to that and say "I'm confident the system of laws in place will succeed, and that if the petition to repeal the law is valid, then the law will be appealed" and he can parlay that into a speech and soundbite of how great America is because we have these rules and flip the argument on Obama, on Obamacare, and even get a freebie for highlighting why he could do Romneycare and Obama can't do Obamacare.

Finally, you are shifting pretty far away from your primary argument, which was attempting to conflate any support of a state-appointed EMF with Obama pointing an emergency state manager.


And I dislike Romney a lot, and I'm against the EMFs, but there is no feasible way to pin them on Romney unless he slips up and shoves his foot in his mouth. Granted, he has a history of doing exactly that, and attacking Romney over EMFs could work out if you get him to play a two-sided pandering to everyone game. But you can get him to do that on issues that are a win even if he doesn't slip up, and time would be better spent attacking him there than here, imo.
 
2012-05-12 01:53:20 PM

LibertyHiller: How does one "shrink" a city?


As the population shrinks and areas are sparsely populated yet still residentially zoned and expected to be protected by police and fire, you withdraw those services, rezone everything you can, and possibly take the drastic step of forcefully buying the remaining stragglers out of various areas. But you had to already know that, or you are now admitting that you don't bother keeping up on what's going on in Michigan. Flint has already done it to some extent, and Bing wants to do it.
 
2012-05-12 02:01:06 PM

Satanic_Hamster: LibertyHiller: 5) The city went into receivership in February 2009 and the stadium was sold in October. Quick question: what else happened between early 2008 and late 2009 that might have affected the ability to get top dollar for the Silverdome?

Black guy trashed the economy? :0


I'm pretty sure most of the folks who did that were white.

(No points for you.)

lennavan: Smackledorfer: I'm not saying I agree with their views, but that would be a political freebie for Romney. He could preach states rights, point out that Obama is more in favor of the federal government coming down on states than he is. Then he would easily point out that states set up their own internal governments and state constitutions, and that elected representatives of Michigan put the EMF laws into effect themselves.

The obvious rebuttal is the citizens of Michigan have tried to get EMF laws repealed as a state wide vote but were denied because the font size for on section on their application with hundreds of thousands of signatures was incorrect.

No seriously, because the font size was wrong.


That was utter bullshiat, I agree. Mainly because "font size" doesn't work that way.

But to your earlier point, wouldn't you agree that the "value" of something is what another party is willing to pay for it? Although the Silverdome was worth $18 million in the spring of 2008, a year later, the highest bid was a mere half-million. It might have been better to sit on it, but who was going to pay for the overhead? The people of Pontiac? There's no money left there. The county? Not as long as there's a breath in Brooks Patterson's body. The state? Good luck with that.

Do I think this deal needs to be investigated by a grand jury? Hells yes, I do. This reeks too much for it to be clean.
 
2012-05-12 02:02:48 PM

Smackledorfer: and he can parlay that into


I mean, in your imaginary conversation Obama gets 2 seconds to speak and Romney gets 5 minutes. No wonder Romney comes out ahead. All along the way you lost that Obama wouldn't actually be for overtaking Michigan. You imagine Obama on the defensive, he wouldn't be.

"I see what the (R) governor did in Michigan. How would you like it if I stepped in and ignored all of your elected officials and voters? You wouldn't would you, that's why I won't ever do it. Why do the (R)'s feel it is okay to do?"

"Because of States rights and ObamaCare"

Yeah, that'll sell real well to the public.

Smackledorfer: But you can get him to do that on issues that are a win even if he doesn't slip up, and time would be better spent attacking him there than here, imo.


How about we just agree to disagree.
 
2012-05-12 02:04:20 PM

plc5_250: ytterbium: SDRR: GoldSpider: puffy999: At least they'd be contributing a significant chunk of change to local schools and the like.

The nearest casino to me doesn't do a damn thing for the community. Hell, they even spent a few months trying to get out of paying their bill for FIRE, POLICE, and WATER/SEWER SERVICES.

Casinos were sold to PA voters with promises that the tax revenue would replace property taxes. You can guess how that turned out.

HAHA..... and the lottery will pay for education!

/suckers

One of the reason we just moved to MI is the incredible schools the local casino paid for and support.

Plus, every kid who graduates high school here gets a $5K a year towards college, up to 5 years.

They also paid for a new baseball complex and sponsor Little League, so the fees are negligible.

Not saying this is commonplace, it's nice to see an exception.

/I probably will not get involved in state or local politics

Where the heck do you live - Mount Pleasant? That sure the heck ain't happening around here (Detroit area).


I live in New Buffalo, barely even Michigan. I get the sense that what happens in the eastern part of the state isn't noticed much here.

Chicago is only an hour away and having lived there for 13 years, corruption isn't anything new to me. This deal is still shocking, especially since the already existing casinos there don't apparently do shiat for the locals.

I haven't dealt with state taxes yet, the sales taxes are low though. WTF about no-fault car insurance? Sounds good in theory but my rates doubled.

I can't link from mobile, but we have the Pokagon Fund here. They do a tremendous amount of good for the area.
 
2012-05-12 02:12:18 PM

lennavan: mean, in your imaginary conversation Obama gets 2 seconds to speak and Romney gets 5 minutes


You know, I feel like you are placing a larger burden on this conversation on me than you are on yourself. It seems like all you have to say is "Obama will win", ignore my largest points, and then say "eh, Obama will win" again. Which is fine if that's what you want to do, but then to add to it a criticism of not my actually points, but instead a critique that I'm not making enough of your points for you... that's pretty annoying. I don't see how every action by every republican in state legislatures can be successfully pinned on Romney any more than every action by every democrat in state legislatures can be pinned on Obama, and telling me that I'm not imagining your side of the argument well enough isn't giving me any revelations here.

lennavan: How about we just agree to disagree.


Yes. I'm walking away from this one.
 
2012-05-12 02:14:05 PM

LibertyHiller: But to your earlier point, wouldn't you agree that the "value" of something is what another party is willing to pay for it?


Not quite, you have left out the input of the seller. The value of something is what the seller and buyer are willing to agree to. I cannot walk into a store and demand to get a computer for $1 because that's all I'm willing to pay for it. My house is not worth what another party is willing to pay for it. If I get an offer, I can tell them to kindly fark themselves and wait for another offer or wait for their counter offer.

LibertyHiller: It might have been better to sit on it, but who was going to pay for the overhead? The people of Pontiac?


The people of Pontiac elected a city council to represent them. The people of Pontiac owned the Superdome, it was theirs to sell. The city council unanimously voted to not sell in 2009 when this emergency manager wanted to put it up for auction with no reserve because they actually predicted it would only sell for about $500,000. They were right. Who the hell are we or this appointed emergency manager to tell them no?

Think of it this way - you are selling your house. My buddy comes to you and offers you 0.25%, that's $400 for your house you purchased for $200,000. $400. You ask your family and your family unanimously votes no. I wander in and say I'm overruling your entire family, GTFO my buddy now owns it. I have cut the seller's input out of the equation here. The buyer told you it was worth $400, you disagreed have no say whatsoever. Here's your check for $400. Now GTFO. That's what went on here.
 
2012-05-12 02:16:10 PM

lennavan: . My buddy comes to you and offers you 0.25%, that's $400 for your house you purchased for $200,000. $400.


I was also told there would be no math. /facepalm

/$500
 
2012-05-12 02:19:13 PM

Satanic_Hamster: LibertyHiller: 5) The city went into receivership in February 2009 and the stadium was sold in October. Quick question: what else happened between early 2008 and late 2009 that might have affected the ability to get top dollar for the Silverdome?

Black guy trashed the economy? :0


I'm pretty sure most of the guys who did that were white.

No points for you.

lennavan: Smackledorfer: I'm not saying I agree with their views, but that would be a political freebie for Romney. He could preach states rights, point out that Obama is more in favor of the federal government coming down on states than he is. Then he would easily point out that states set up their own internal governments and state constitutions, and that elected representatives of Michigan put the EMF laws into effect themselves.

The obvious rebuttal is the citizens of Michigan have tried to get EMF laws repealed as a state wide vote but were denied because the font size for on section on their application with hundreds of thousands of signatures was incorrect.

No seriously, because the font size was wrong.


Which was a bullshiat argument, because point size doesn't work that way.

To your other point, wouldn't you agree that an asset is worth what someone is willing to pay for it today? Yes, the Silverdome might have attracted bids of $18 million in the past, but in mid-2009, a half-million was all it could draw. The city couldn't afford to maintain it, the county wasn't going to do it so long as that racist pig Brooks Patterson is breathing, and Two-Penny Jenny had her hands full trying to balance the state's books.

That aside, this deal just looks dirty. I'd hope there's a grand jury investigation, but I'm not holding my breath.

Smackledorfer: LibertyHiller: How does one "shrink" a city?

As the population shrinks and areas are sparsely populated yet still residentially zoned and expected to be protected by police and fire, you withdraw those services, rezone everything you can, and possibly take the drastic step of forcefully buying the remaining stragglers out of various areas.


That's a long-term plan, and has yet to be tried on a city the size of Detroit.

But you had to already know that, or you are now admitting that you don't bother keeping up on what's going on in Michigan. Flint has already done it to some extent, and Bing wants to do it.

Dale Kildee has done a few interesting things, and I think he would make an excellent governor, but he wants to take his uncle's place in Congress instead.

Now if you'll excuse me, gym, 26 minutes, etc. (Reality: brunch, some backyard work at a friend's place, followed by the Tigers at Oakland. See you tonight, kids.)
 
2012-05-12 02:24:15 PM

lennavan: LibertyHiller: But to your earlier point, wouldn't you agree that the "value" of something is what another party is willing to pay for it?

Not quite, you have left out the input of the seller. The value of something is what the seller and buyer are willing to agree to. I cannot walk into a store and demand to get a computer for $1 because that's all I'm willing to pay for it. My house is not worth what another party is willing to pay for it. If I get an offer, I can tell them to kindly fark themselves and wait for another offer or wait for their counter offer.

LibertyHiller: It might have been better to sit on it, but who was going to pay for the overhead? The people of Pontiac?

The people of Pontiac elected a city council to represent them. The people of Pontiac owned the Superdome, it was theirs to sell. The city council unanimously voted to not sell in 2009 when this emergency manager wanted to put it up for auction with no reserve because they actually predicted it would only sell for about $500,000. They were right. Who the hell are we or this appointed emergency manager to tell them no?

Think of it this way - you are selling your house. My buddy comes to you and offers you 0.25%, that's $400 for your house you purchased for $200,000. $400. You ask your family and your family unanimously votes no. I wander in and say I'm overruling your entire family, GTFO my buddy now owns it. I have cut the seller's input out of the equation here. The buyer told you it was worth $400, you disagreed have no say whatsoever. Here's your check for $400. Now GTFO. That's what went on here.


Receivership, how does it work?
 
2012-05-12 02:36:35 PM

LibertyHiller: To your other point, wouldn't you agree that an asset is worth what someone is willing to pay for it today?


No, because as lenn points out, the owner(s) view is also there. I have a home in Auburn Hills that is "worth" less than I owe in a mortgage. I'd have to short sell to get rid of it. I earn 200 dollars a month above all costs by keeping it and renting it out. What it is worth to a buyer is NOT what it is worth to me, and I won't be pulling a silverdome and selling it at a loss, I'll be holding on to it.

LibertyHiller: Receivership


I addressed this earlier.

Smackledorfer: "oh I'm having a bad month, let me tear up my walls to sell the copper wiring. I don't have a choice".


You don't do that. Which is exactly why you seem to agree with people's complaints about the EMF:

LibertyHiller: That aside, this deal just looks dirty. I'd hope there's a grand jury investigation, but I'm not holding my breath.




You know, on this note, a better option than an EMF dropping everything of value in a city to the private industry wholesale would be the state playing pawnbroker to the city on this big ticket items.
 
2012-05-12 04:26:10 PM
www.royalforestofdean.info

Even these guys think this shiat is unbelievable.


/"I know this world aint what it seems"
//Hot like the Summer of '91.
 
2012-05-12 04:58:12 PM

Gadflypaper: /loves the state
//hates the politics


I've heard tell that your trees are just the right height.
 
2012-05-12 05:56:14 PM
Boycott, divest, and sanction?
 
2012-05-12 06:48:44 PM

ytterbium: I haven't dealt with state taxes yet, the sales taxes are low though

[in Michigan]

4.35% flat rate income taxes (with some minor deductions for kids and existing), 6% sales, and I can't think of a single toll road in the state other than the Mackinac bridge. The flip side of that is that I can't think of anything they actually DO with those taxes since AFAIK, schools are entirely funded by property taxes*, (and as an apartment dweller, I've never paid those), I've NEVER seen a state trooper or any cop ever on the highway (though this is a positive thing, since it means the effective speed limit is about 85-90), and the state roads are largely in a state of disrepair the last few years.

*And for various reasons (namely Detroit being poor), I believe that most of the school funding is done by the state, where everyone pays into a giant pot, and then the state doles it back out in an attempt for equality. The flip side of that is that no one ever raises property taxes because they don't ever see the benefit. (Assuming I'm remembering this correctly of course)
 
2012-05-12 06:56:06 PM

meyerkev: the state roads are largely in a state of disrepair the last few years.


Should also add that this is new. Until about 2008 or so, while it seemed like they were always under construction (which makes sense with our winters), the roads were, with a few exceptions, good to great. So I guess that's what taxes go for?

As far as the law is concerned, it's necessary IMO. Some of these cities are just broken, and dragging the rest of the state with them. Do there need some more protections and oversight of the Emergency Managers? Yes. But in general, I'm cool with the law.

/Also, if Snyder makes Bing EM of Detroit, he's got my vote as long as he wants it for anything he runs for.
 
2012-05-12 07:41:24 PM
Corruption is ok when GOPers do it.
 
2012-05-12 08:21:41 PM
I can't really see the issue here. It looks like nobody wanted to buy the thing, and it cost the city a lot of money to maintain it. I suppose an additional choice would be to tear it down (although that would cost a fair amount of money), or to stop maintaining it completely (which would work until some kid kills himself inside it and his family sues the city).

The choices were:

1. Spend money maintaining it.
2. Stop spending money maintaining it and let it collapse on it's own (which comes with potential legal risks).
3. Spend money tearing it down.
4. Sell it to the highest bidder, even if said bid "seems" low because nobody really wants it.

Choice #4 is the most profitable, and is what was done.
 
2012-05-12 08:59:23 PM
reisman.lohudblogs.com

/Shocked, shocked!
 
2012-05-12 10:40:44 PM
and what's michigan going to do about it? oh yeah, NOTHING.
 
2012-05-12 11:21:23 PM

wxboy: Not sure why they felt the need to keep the dome inflated all that time though with nobody using it. Surely they could have cut costs there.


Isn't it a reinforced roof, not an inflated roof? I swore it collapsed shortly after it was built (kinda like the one in Minnesota, snow piling on it) and they had to replace it with a steel reinforced roof rather then an air-pressure supported roof.
 
2012-05-13 12:06:18 AM

Blink: I love and adore Michigan (the land and people) -- I lived there for a couple of decades. Once the car factories (and their supporting parts makers) all started shutting down, the state collapsed in on itself financially. That's when the feeding began.

It's turned into a millionaire's pinata -- filled with good stuff, but you have to whack the shiat out of it to get it. After watching this for a few years, I could see the writing on the wall. I'm a teacher, and education is (according to many republicans) filled with yummy candy -- I moved to another state. I have no idea how the state will recover from the complete pillaging that's currently ongoing.

If it does, I'll probably move back. It's a beautiful state with some really nice people. It's just a shame there's so many depraved, slavering rich people (most from out-of-state) prowling around the joint.


Thank you for expressing so perfectly what I've never really come to grips with. I moved here from the prairies and it is quite possibly the most beautiful land I have ever experienced.

Filled with the most depressing political and religious (but I repeat myself) derp from people who seem quite nice in person... I go out of my way to talk to folks who are in service jobs because they are so incredibly cool here, but I cringe every time I'm near someone who's middle class or higher because... Yikes. Just farking yikes.
 
2012-05-13 01:21:14 AM

CrazyWhiteBoy311: wxboy: Not sure why they felt the need to keep the dome inflated all that time though with nobody using it. Surely they could have cut costs there.

Isn't it a reinforced roof, not an inflated roof? I swore it collapsed shortly after it was built (kinda like the one in Minnesota, snow piling on it) and they had to replace it with a steel reinforced roof rather then an air-pressure supported roof.


It did collapse (1985). According to Wikipedia, the canvas was replaced and reinforced with steel girders. It's still air-supported to a degree, because the entrances are still pressurized (meaning you open the vehicle access door and get blasted in the face with wind gusts). At least that was the case in 2001 (last time I was in there, for a high school football game). I know that they sent over spare roof panels from the Silverdome when the Metrodome in MN had its issue a year and a half ago.

I grew up about a mile away.
 
2012-05-13 08:25:19 AM
Welcome to Potterville.

See your future, America.
 
2012-05-13 01:42:37 PM

Smackledorfer: LibertyHiller: To your other point, wouldn't you agree that an asset is worth what someone is willing to pay for it today?

No, because as lenn points out, the owner(s) view is also there. I have a home in Auburn Hills that is "worth" less than I owe in a mortgage. I'd have to short sell to get rid of it. I earn 200 dollars a month above all costs by keeping it and renting it out. What it is worth to a buyer is NOT what it is worth to me, and I won't be pulling a silverdome and selling it at a loss, I'll be holding on to it.

LibertyHiller: Receivership

I addressed this earlier. Smackledorfer: "oh I'm having a bad month, let me tear up my walls to sell the copper wiring. I don't have a choice".

You don't do that. Which is exactly why you seem to agree with people's complaints about the EMF:

LibertyHiller: That aside, this deal just looks dirty. I'd hope there's a grand jury investigation, but I'm not holding my breath.

You know, on this note, a better option than an EMF dropping everything of value in a city to the private industry wholesale would be the state playing pawnbroker to the city on this big ticket items.


Except that in your case you, the owner of record, hasn't been declared incompetent to manage your finances. That's pretty much what a financial emergency is; the city, in the persons of council and mayor have failed to come up with a sustainable financial plan, and the imposition of an emergency manager is a last ditch effort to avoid actual bankruptcy.

Lucky you, being able to make your nut on the place in Auburn Hills (which when I was growing up was still Pontiac Township); of course it doesn't make sense to unload it, even though you're underwater at the moment. But that's a poorly-chosen parallel, because Pontiac wasn't making the nut on the 'Dome, which is why the city had been trying to unload it in the first place.

I'm beefing about the particular case, rather than the entire concept of emergency managers. (There's a lot of misunderstanding surrounding the process, as many people here and elsewhere seem to think that elected city governments can be sidelined because they had one bad month. That's bullshiat, as I'm sure you know.)

As for the state acting as a pawnbroker: that just wasn't going to happen in 2009. Even if there had been the will to create a stadium authority, the city wouldn't have received $18 million, or even $1 million. It's more likely that it would have been a deal similar to what happened in Saginaw, where the city locked the doors on the Civic Center and the county took it over, apparently for free.

Now as far as this proposal goes, yes, I think it looks shady. It's probably legit-enough, since Leeb is working with the 8-casino coalition, rather than working for the developer who bought the Silverdome for a peppercorn. But it still looks enough like a conflict of interest that it should be investigated.

(If it matters, I wanted to send this last night, but I didn't get in until 11, and I thought you deserved a reply that was written without the benefit of beer goggles. Have a nice day, man.)
 
2012-05-13 01:49:44 PM

LibertyHiller: lennavan: LibertyHiller: But to your earlier point, wouldn't you agree that the "value" of something is what another party is willing to pay for it?

Not quite, you have left out the input of the seller. The value of something is what the seller and buyer are willing to agree to. I cannot walk into a store and demand to get a computer for $1 because that's all I'm willing to pay for it. My house is not worth what another party is willing to pay for it. If I get an offer, I can tell them to kindly fark themselves and wait for another offer or wait for their counter offer.

LibertyHiller: It might have been better to sit on it, but who was going to pay for the overhead? The people of Pontiac?

The people of Pontiac elected a city council to represent them. The people of Pontiac owned the Superdome, it was theirs to sell. The city council unanimously voted to not sell in 2009 when this emergency manager wanted to put it up for auction with no reserve because they actually predicted it would only sell for about $500,000. They were right. Who the hell are we or this appointed emergency manager to tell them no?

Think of it this way - you are selling your house. My buddy comes to you and offers you 0.25%, that's $400 for your house you purchased for $200,000. $400. You ask your family and your family unanimously votes no. I wander in and say I'm overruling your entire family, GTFO my buddy now owns it. I have cut the seller's input out of the equation here. The buyer told you it was worth $400, you disagreed have no say whatsoever. Here's your check for $400. Now GTFO. That's what went on here.

Receivership, how does it work?


I'm pretty sure I was attacking the usage of receivership in this case, not questioning how it works. Either you were too stupid to realize that or alternatively, too lazy to address the actual point. So which was it?
 
2012-05-13 02:55:56 PM

LibertyHiller: I'm beefing about the particular case, rather than the entire concept of emergency managers.



A omniscient, benevolent dictatorship is the best form of government conceivable.

I don't like dictatorships, because they aren't benevolent. They aren't omniscient. I don't know about you, but I don't need to have a plethora of examples of dictators being bad to decide I don't like that form of government.

If these EMFs are given full powers with zero oversight and are able to make shady deals selling off city resources for pennies to their own personal interests, then the concept, as put in place in Michigan, is a bad one.

You are essentially agreeing with me that the wrong move was made here, and that it was completely legal, and yet you are denying that it should reflect on our views of the EMF rules. Don't get me wrong. The cities affect the entire state, and I understand the reasoning to have a state system in place to prevent them from dragging everything down. But, judging by actions like this silverdome sale, it doesn't look to me like the EMFs, as currently implemented, are the solution to the problem. Selling off all the city assets for a song and then walking away with a check in your hand, whether by corruption or ignorance, will put the city in a worse position in the long run. You might clear the debt, but if the debt didn't outweigh the long term average value of the assets plus the cost of maintenance to reach a better point to sell, you made a piss-poor financial move. And, while the city council and/or mayor may in fact be proven incompetent as well, the ultimate owner of these things is the city residents.



LibertyHiller: (If it matters, I wanted to send this last night, but I didn't get in until 11, and I thought you deserved a reply that was written without the benefit of beer goggles. Have a nice day, man.)


Its all good.
 
2012-05-13 02:58:46 PM

lennavan: I'm pretty sure I was attacking the usage of receivership in this case, not questioning how it works. Either you were too stupid to realize that or alternatively, too lazy to address the actual point. So which was it?


(Actually, neither. I was on my way out the door, so I didn't have time for a nuanced response.)

So when attacking the use of receivership "in this case," are you referring to the sale of the stadium in particular, or the act of the state government placing the city of Pontiac in receivership? Because you have objected strenuously to both, in this thread and others.

In this case, the emergency manager was the legally authorized representative of the city of Pontiac. His job was to clean up the mess that the elected city government got itself into by balancing the books, even if that required drastic measures that aren't allowed in the usual course of business. Argue all you like about it, but Leeb found a way to cut expenses by $1.5 million per year.

Maybe (and it's a big maybe) he could have gotten more than a half-million dollars if Pontiac could have held on for a couple of years, but that required cash that the city simply. Didn't. Have. It was sitting on $100 million in debt, and the previous year's balance sheet had $6.5 million in red ink. One last time, where do you suggest the money was going to come from?
 
2012-05-13 03:10:59 PM

LibertyHiller: So when attacking the use of receivership "in this case," are you referring to the sale of the stadium in particular, or the act of the state government placing the city of Pontiac in receivership? Because you have objected strenuously to both, in this thread and others.


Don't be purposefully stupid. My objection is not to receivership in general, it is to how it was applied in this specific case and everything subsequent to it including but not limited to the sale of the stadium. If the elected officials of Pontiac want to select their own receiver, by all means.

LibertyHiller: In this case, the emergency manager was the legally authorized representative of the city of Pontiac.


And I'm saying he should not be. The way he was "legally authorized" is bullshiat and therefore everything he did is bullshiat. Is that difficult for you?

LibertyHiller: One last time, where do you suggest the money was going to come from?


It's not my problem. I don't live in Pontiac. Who the hell am I to tell Pontiac how to take care of their business? Who the hell are you to tell Pontiac how to take care of their business? Do you live there?
 
2012-05-13 03:44:18 PM

LibertyHiller: One last time, where do you suggest the money was going to come from?


As I have stated, now for the third time, you are being unfair with burdens of proof here. Apparently, if we say "there had to be a better option than selling something worth 15 million for 500,000" then we have to take a couple day's time to become fully knowledgeable about every inch of the city's finances. Whereas you, conveniently, can say "this EMF made all the right moves, because I said so".

Except of course even you say this situation looks shady and should be investigated, despite your simultaneous claim that its 100% legal (in which it should not be investigated, one would think).
 
2012-05-13 03:57:27 PM

Smackledorfer: You are essentially agreeing with me that the wrong move was made here, and that it was completely legal, and yet you are denying that it should reflect on our views of the EMF rules. Don't get me wrong. The cities affect the entire state, and I understand the reasoning to have a state system in place to prevent them from dragging everything down. But, judging by actions like this silverdome sale, it doesn't look to me like the EMFs, as currently implemented, are the solution to the problem. Selling off all the city assets for a song and then walking away with a check in your hand, whether by corruption or ignorance, will put the city in a worse position in the long run. You might clear the debt, but if the debt didn't outweigh the long term average value of the assets plus the cost of maintenance to reach a better point to sell, you made a piss-poor financial move. And, while the city council and/or mayor may in fact be proven incompetent as well, the ultimate owner of these things is the city residents.


There doesn't have to be a state system for municipal receivership; in the absence of one, they could just go straight to federally managed bankruptcy, like Orange County and Vallejo did. But Michigan chose to have one, and it's up to the people of Michigan to change it if they don't like it; FWIW, I hope the Court of Appeals allows the referendum on PA 4 to go ahead. I understand that much of PA 4 was meant to clear up ambiguities that were in the existing law, but it's still worthwhile to put it to a vote of the people. (Remember the hassling between the Detroit school board and its emergency manager a few years back? PA 4 was a response to those shenanigans.)

IANAL, but I understand that when the property owner is "the city," in legal terms that means the corporate body is the ultimate owner, rather than the residents collectively. It's not just a legal nicety.

(As an aside, calling emergency managers "dictators" is an insult to people who live in real dictatorships. It's just the three of us in here -- you, me and lennavan -- so you can dial the rhetoric down anytime you want.)

Finally, please don't put words in my mouth. I'm saying that even though this looks shady and Leeb's role in the casino consortium ought to be investigated, the sale of the Silverdome was at worst a necessary evil. The 'Dome was a short-term liability and its long-term value was questionable at best.
 
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