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Wayne Theatre Alliance gets good news…and so did citizens

Posted by Stephen on April 12, 2007

They own IT!

Waynesboro City Council finally made a rational decision. They turned over ownership of the Wayne Theatre to the Economic Development Authority. The EDA is a city sanctioned committee that has the ability to pursue city revitalization projects.

The EDA is expected to give ownership to a for-profit partner of the WTA. The EDA’s move is critical because the alliance itself can’t directly lay claim to the theater if it hopes to take advantage of tax credits during the building’s renovation.
 
The theater’s transfer was approved unanimously. The theatre’s maintenance and utility bills are now the responsibility of the private sector.
 
The next step that could have been anticipated would be city council’s attempt to borrow money to contribute to the project. Already in discussion was support of operating costs. The transfer of ownership to a private enterprise should bring to an end any attempts by council to borrow money. The city is not allowed to borrow money for private enterprise. According to City Manager Doug Walker, the financial forces that determine the city’s credit rating would frown on any attempt to borrow money for the Wayne once it has left city ownership.
 
However, there is always a caveat to any actions this council takes regarding the Wayne. Borrowing could still be pursued using the EDA as a middleman. This manipulative scenario suggests that a committee could act as an official holder of the debt while the city makes all the repayments.
 
City staff plans to advise the council to consider straight cash payments should any financial support be given to the theater. Mayor Tom Reynolds, and council women Nancy Dowdy and Lorie Smith have supported committing tax payer dollars in the amount of $1 million to the theatre project. In order to provide cash payments to a private enterprise, council would have to draw the money from the general fund or the reserve fund that the city has taken great care in building.

There is no reason to think that Reynolds, Dowdy, and Smith are done researching ways to commit the citizen’s resources to the WTA. The fact that it is privately owned is nothing more than an inconvenience for a council dominated with tax, borrow and spend philosophies.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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4 Responses to “Wayne Theatre Alliance gets good news…and so did citizens”

  1. Andy said

    What can we call this new trio of “backdoor” politicans?

  2. It’s interesting that you use the term “backdoor” here. I remember during the last election that there were a lot of comments accusing Reo Hatfield, Frank Lucente and Tim Williams of making deals behind closed doors. People were clearly concerned that such actions were taking place and many felt it was an unhealthy practice for Waynesboro. It certainly contributed to a difficult campaign for Hatfield.

    What is interesting is that one could conjecture here that the well scripted statements the other night and the accompanying agreements were calculated by Dowdy and Smith in particular. Such a theory would lead some to believe that there must be a motive behind the decision and a game plan to, as Dowdy stated, bring this issue back up at a later date, perhaps after next years election. There’s no proof of such a thing mind you, but then again, there was no proof linking Hatfield to such actions either. Then again, issues like that just have to be floated into the political landscape and they will take on a life of their own.

    Of the three who currently provide a consistant voting block, Reynolds, Dowdy and Smith, I have heard the name “The Three Senioritas” thrown about. This seems to be an obvious response to the “Three Amigos” of the previous council. Again, like minded people are bound to vote together and tags are probably unfair.

    What Waynesboro has is a voting block of three members of council. It is no different then past councils. The only difference between this council and the last is that you currently have a tax, borrow and spend trio that is attempting to play damage control after citizens reacted to Dowdy’s feeling that she could propose anythng she wanted and that the citizens would sit idly by and watch it happen. I say Dowdy because she was quoted in the News Virginian describing her election as a mandate and that the city was clearly prepared for tax increases and increases in spending.

    I believe she may be rethinking that statement at this point.

    Thanks for the brief but compelling question.

  3. Donna Kent said

    Nancy Dowdy is a simple minded puppet whose strings are beginning to show. She as much as admitted to this in the last election with regard to being bankrolled and owned by Frank Lucente, and it is now clear she simply changed puppetmasters when she turned her back on him. Now, instead of Lucente, the WTA’s own “Little Caesar” is paying the freight and pulling the strings. Nancy may object, but I suggest the people of Waynesboro – particularly the media – look into the business dealings of her husband and of his former business partner, Mike O’Donnell, and realize the sheer volume of taxpayer dollars she has sent their way. – Donna Kent

  4. Donna, I would need more information before looking into something of this magnitude. Feel free to provide details here, or email me at the email address in the “Contact Us” box on the home page.

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