January 20, 2009 – The Zinke Vote

Have you ever wondered what happened in the Council chambers when the Council members approved spending $50 million for the Zinke property? (Council Members at the time were:  Mayor Steve Berman, Vice Mayor Joan Krueger, and Council members Linda Abbott*, Dave Crozier*, Les Presmyk*, Don Skousen, and Steve Urie.)

January 20, 2009 – There are 8 agenda items under the heading Consent Calendar.  All Consent Calendar items are voted on together unless a Council member wants to discuss one or more of them.  In that case, those items are pulled for separate discussion.

Consent Calendar items #2, #3, #4, and #7 are pulled for discussion. One of those items, #4, involves a land purchase of only $25,144.

The scene opens as Mayor Berman describes Agenda Item #7, relating to adoption of a resolution to authorize an acquisition.  Council Member Don Skousen asks former Town Manager George Pettit about the price of this property at Germann Road and 156th Street.  

The footage ends when Mayor Berman announces Public Hearing items beginning with Agenda Item #9.

When was the Zinke purchase discussed? It wasn’t! It was Agenda Item #8.

Items #5, #6, and #8 were approved together in one vote without discussion, without public input. $50 million dollars spent, lumped together with two capital project resolutions.

How much is the annual debt repayment for Zinke? 

According to Town records, the FY 2010 payment was $4,222,168.  In  FY2011 it will be $4,380,080.  By the time the Zinke land is paid off, in FY 2028, it will have cost $76,765,581. 

That’s just the land.  It doesn’t include the cost for improvements yet to come, which include the Park, Special Events Center, South Area Activity Center, and Field Complex.  Nor does it include the perpetual costs for maintenance, which will hit the General Fund.

These Council members had no grasp of land values.  The purchase was made four months after the banking collapse of September 2008.  They paid $300k per acre.  They carry the public trust in their hands.  Do you trust them?

*Incumbents up for re-election May 17, 2011.