Letter to the Editor

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at 10:05pm

[Metro Finance Department Director Rich] Riebeling always offers the same excuse: The administration “hasn’t done a good job explaining” and he usually adds something to the effect a little more homework is needed.

I agree, we need a new mayor, but who? No one has stepped forward.

I am not as familiar as I would like to be with how all this incentive stuff works. I doubt incentives are only offered to companies to relocate here. Last week The City Paper reported:

“We are extremely excited to commit to continue to grow our business here in Nashville,” said Asurion President Gerald Risk. “As a management team, we constantly evaluate where is the best location for our team, and we’re glad Nashville makes it so easy to continue to locate much of our growth here.”

The expansion is the result of a deal struck with state and local economic development officials, though the parties declined to discuss specific incentives.

"Nashville makes it easy," "declined to discuss specific incentives." I wonder if we will ever know how much those “specific incentives” will cost the taxpayers of Davidson County. Where is the transparency on that deal? 

 

Posted by “watchdog55”

 

Filed under: City Voices

60 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 12/22/10 at 4:57

It's the cost of doin' business. What did Spring Hill fork over to GM for the Saturn plant?
Or Chattanooga for the VW plant.
There you're talking billions.

By: Loner on 12/22/10 at 6:08

Good morning, Nashville!

As for the topic of this LTE, all you can do is follow the money. That takes persistence, stamina and caljones. Elected officials are always prepared to defend their corruption and incompetence; one must be prepared to meet and defeat that type of organized resistance and stonewalling.

Good luck!

By: govskeptic on 12/22/10 at 6:40

Dell selected Lebanon for their facilites, so Bredesen "buys"
them away to Davidson Co. Alexander was hoodwinked by
GM in the Saturn Plant. After State spends the money GM
informs us that very-very few state residents will be hired.
Staffing was 98% laid off Union members from around the
country that relocated! Now the Mayor wants to make the
selection process even more secret. What a system!

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 6:58

They have to bribe businesses to locate here. Does that speak of the system, the state of business or the area?

By: bfra on 12/22/10 at 7:07

Speaks more of poor government and their inability for making the area more desirable for businesses to relocate here.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 7:22

I think a little of all three. First, you're right bfra. Poor government. They've been in the business of corporate welfare for years but it doesn't draw ire like public welfare does. In fact, there's an entire political party that dedicates themselves to corporate welfare and no one seems to mind.

The system is obviosly flawed. Remember this is the same one that brought us such hits as "No wine in grocery stores" and "Sure, bring your gun to where I serve alcohol, we'll have a grand ole time!"

Finally, the area. Ask anyone in the area and they love Nashville...of course they think Cool Springs, Green HIlls or Murfreesboro is Nashville. Ask a business if they'd like to relocate to Hickory Hollow or Bordeaux.

I have a hunch that this is probably the norm for the rest of the country as well.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 7:41

Good morning
http://medina-photo.com/images/large/hyatt lake sunrise.jpg

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 8:00

Corporate welfare seems to be the norm. We give tax exemption to corporations to bring jobs to Tennessee and Nashville, however what takes place down the road is not what was promised. We still have budget cuts and people are unemployed.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 8:25

Dooms Day
http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/mba/lowres/mban1433l.jpg

By: house_of_pain on 12/22/10 at 8:46

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABSAiNq3YvM

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:06

As I said the other day, the GOP has put itself out on a limb by embracing the Tea Party.

Tea Party Era Begins With Refusal To Debate 'Omnibus' Spending Bill
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/16/tea-party-era-begins_n_798036.html

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:09

lol house

By: Community-carl-... on 12/22/10 at 9:11

The Dean administration specializes in "under-the-table" and "back-door" deals.
Transparency, public input, and open government are only token efforts and/or lip-service. Dean only watches out for special interests, and elitist well-connected friends and acquaintances.

We need desperately need a new mayor.

By: bfra on 12/22/10 at 9:15

AMEN - Community-carl! ASAP

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:18

Election time is coming –carl-, are you going to run? If not who do you have in mind?

By: bfra on 12/22/10 at 9:35

Nemo - I think at this time, anybody with common sense & a little public exposure, could beat Dean, easily.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 9:41

I think Darge should run. He could make Nashville the Detroit of the South.

By: Community-carl-... on 12/22/10 at 9:46

Captain Nemo:

He might be wild card, but I would take Michael Craddock over Karl Dean.....at least Michael Craddock seems to honor the democratic process by attempting to support what the majority of his constituients want.....and he does seem to advocate for good ole common sense. But I have an open mind and hope other honorable persons will step forward for us all to consider.

By: budlight on 12/22/10 at 9:52

Transparency? O'bama is the new transparency. He has changed the true meaning FOREVER and so there will be a bleak outlook when it comes to "seeing through things" or seeing them as they "really are".

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:53

bfra-

I would have to see who would run against Dean, before I make any statement. Sometime it is worst and sometimes not. Commonsense is good, but it is not often enough.

I have not heard much about Dean in the place I have been, but I have not been looking either. The only negative reports I get is from this board and I value most opinions on this board.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:58

Shut up troll

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 10:04

-carl-

Craddock I do know him and he is the last person I would vote for. He always has a hidden agenda that is not in the best interest for the community as a whole. Every move that he has done has only been to advance his agenda. The man has never said a word to me, until he ran for countywide election, then is was recorded message calling me neighbor.

I consider him more as a charming Eric Crafton. Sorry but I don’t trust him to be my neighbor.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 10:07

It doesn't matter who's in office, this has been SOP for quite a few mayors and governors for years. It's extremely naive to think one person would (or could) suddenly reverse this trend.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 10:16

Now I know I am going to hear from yogi about my shut up post.

No I don’t react to everyone who disagrees with me. It is on to Trolls and those that are making brownie points to win the affections of Trolls like you yogi that make me react in that manner.

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 10:19

dargent7 said

"It's the cost of doin' business. What did Spring Hill fork over to GM for the Saturn plant?
Or Chattanooga for the VW plant.
There you're talking billions."

Very good point. The reality is, that regardless of what you hear from companies, the tax incentives and perks given to companies to lure them to certain areas of the country are very rarely offset by the taxes taken in because of the jobs that that company "creates". This is particularly true for small municipalities that often have to make major investments in infrastructure and roadways in order to accommodate that business. Quite often that incoming business will stay just as long as it takes to find another location that will give better tax incentives and perks; and once leaving, those companies leave behind a huge tax bill and more than likely a huge "white elephant" of a building that siphons services away from the general population.

Bottom line, luring companies through tax incentives and perks is a short term stop gap method of attracting businesses that will only hold those businesses until a better deal comes along from somewhere else. If you really want to attract businesses for the long term, then provide the things that businesses really want.... a smart, well educated, reliable and efficient work force. And to do that, you have to invest in those things that can produce (and attract) those smart, well educated, reliable and efficient workers..... like infrastructure, and an attractive place to live, and a school system that can produce real critical thinkers and not the automatons that our school system is attempting to (and failing at) producing today.

By: Community-carl-... on 12/22/10 at 10:19

Captain Nemo:

I agree that Michael Craddock has his faults, but the point I was making is that ANYONE would be an improvement over Dean.

Please note that I said that I hoped other honorable persons would step forward.
For example, Howard Gentry is a good and honorable man.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 10:27

-carl-

I understand and I would vote for Howard Gentry. I know him to an honorable man and would do the best for the city and its people.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 10:39

brrrk-

Right on.

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 10:42

Captain Nemo said

"brrrk-

Right on."

LOL.... Can I get an "Amen", bratha !?!?!

By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 11:03

Wrong again, Nimrod. I don't make you react in that order. You do. You are you. You are who, and what, you were raised up to be. Don't try to blame me for your faults. I didn't even know you was born.

By: Loretta Bridge on 12/22/10 at 11:12

Why does it seem that whenever local, state or national government gets involved in
something it always turns into a mess. Didn't it use to be that a company decided
where it wanted to locate and just do it. Now government puts it 2 cents in and free
enterprise becomes a mess.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 11:17

The old gas bag wake up.

Don’t go talking about me being what I was raised to be. You are the one who would disowned your own children if you found them to be gay, because you where raised that way. In a later post you made the statement the God made wars to keep down the population. Sound to me that it is you that blames everyone else you your stupid ideas.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 11:26

Loretta Bridges-

Would you want a bar next door to you, or how about a private waste facility or a private prison? I don’t think you would want that, so maybe we do need government to keep a bigger mess from happening.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 11:27

Alright you two...it's Christmastime...kiss and make up...

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 11:30

Shut up gdia. lol

By: AmyLiorate on 12/22/10 at 11:31

GD got the bullseye "I have a hunch that this is probably the norm for the rest of the country as well."

So should we ask that our leaders cease baiting business with lucrative deals? I know what I think about corporate welfare, it would be the 1st thing to go in my book.

Brrrrk's right about governments making these grand schemes "to bring in jobs" and tending to fail too often when you look at the pros & cons. But I think some businesses like automatons that the schools turn out. Our elected servants seem to like the automatons even more.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 11:47

Loretta Bridges-

I must apologize for my post. I am also on another tread and misunderstood your post. I understand what you are trying to say.

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 12:03

AmyLiorate said

"But I think some businesses like automatons that the schools turn out."

I know businesses might think that... but from my experience having a worker with the ability to think beyond the task at hand is the difference between producing a so-so product with a lot of waste and quality product with little to no waste. Where I work the powers that be decided that the company would be better off letting go of some of our long time experienced (and better paid) employees and replacing them with those automatons from a temp service..... end result, product quality dropped and waste increased significantly. When considering employees, you simply can't replace giving a damn... and to put it bluntly, at the end of the day, temps don't give a rats ass.

By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 12:03

AmyLiorate,

You are right about the automaton students in schools today. That began when the government decided all children should be taught the same subjects in all schools (because they lived in the same country and shouldn't be taught differently).

I believe that got into full swing when the Department of Education was formed under Jimmy Carter. (Wasn't Lamar Alexander the first administrator in that department?)

When I was a child, every school taught their children differently. The first day of school each year, we went into our room to fine out what we were going to study that year. We then went to a privately owned book store to buy our books.

How many privately owned bookstores do you know of now for class studies through high school?

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 12:09

yogiman said

"When I was a child, every school taught their children differently. The first day of school each year, we went into our room to fine out what we were going to study that year. We then went to a privately owned book store to buy our books."

I bet the first horseless carriage you saw just scared the hell outta you!

By: budlight on 12/22/10 at 1:02

Captain Nemo on 12/22/10 at 9:58
Shut up troll

For God SO LOVED the world . . . even you First class nemo.

By: AmyLiorate on 12/22/10 at 2:01

"and to put it bluntly, at the end of the day, temps don't give a rats ass."

Yep.

I've seen it work both ways. Upper management often looks to ax based on dollars "saved". One supervisor I worked with fought them, agreeing to drop two temp employees in order to save the other highly qualified and hard working temp.

He was worth 2 or 3 of them anyway. But he made less than the two of them combined. Here's to being a good worker - no matter whether your status is FTE or PT.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 2:03

I gave a rat's ass once...to a stray cat. The holidays and all...

By: AmyLiorate on 12/22/10 at 2:08

Yogi, did you go to school in Nashville?

Lamer went to the Dept of Ed after he left the governors house. But Carter took the DoE from a small entity and made it into a cabinet level dept. Before long it's budget grew to over $40 Billion per anum! And it is one of, if not the, largest departments.

In all those years we still have crappy public schools and our country is falling behind other developed nations in education.

The DoE is apparently a failure. I posit that those billions of dollars should be left to the people in their states and let their states better fund schools as they see necessary.

By: gdiafante on 12/22/10 at 2:12

You really think that local government is any better, Amy? The only difference would be that now local government is throwing money away.

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 2:14

“In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks.” - Republican Spencer Bachus, the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Hmmm, and who serves us? The question is and should be, "Is the economy here to serve us, or are we here to serve the economy?" I think the former, not that latter.

By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 2:19

No, brrrrk, they didn't scare me when they put them on the road. Makes me wonder, though, based on your apparent mentality, what would have been your reaction? Run like hell, or try to hide behind the fence?

By: brrrrk on 12/22/10 at 2:23

yogiman said

"No, brrrrk, they didn't scare me when they put them on the road. Makes me wonder, though, based on your apparent mentality, what would have been your reaction? Run like hell, or try to hide behind the fence?"

Unlike an alter kocker like you, I'd be driving the thing.

By: AmyLiorate on 12/22/10 at 2:28

Dec 22, 1984 Bernie Goetz was unsuccessfully robbed on a NYC subway.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Goetz

Now he is involved with Squirrel Rescue. "He installs squirrel houses, feeds squirrels and performs first aid." Man, squirrel rescue sure sounds nutty!

By: yogiman on 12/22/10 at 2:29

No, Amy. I was born in Nashville and we moved to Gallatin when I was 3 years old. I went through grade school in Gallatin and started high school there. I Quit high school after two years. I figured I already knew enough. But darn it, I'm still learning.