Okay, I am officially ticked off by the latest news on Gwinnett’s minor league stadium.
Until today, I have been a supporter of the decision to build a new home for the Atlanta Braves’ AAA affiliate, based in Richmond , VA until this year. I have defended the Commission’s decision to pursue the deal in secret, banking on my personal trust in a majority of the Commissioners to proceed wisely.
But now we learn that the stadium will cost at least $19 million more than expected, and that the money will come directly out of the taxpayers’ pockets (via a draw on reserves). And apparently the increase, which is primarily to cover design changes, is not totally unexpected. Reports the AJC:
“’While it appears somewhat shocking I guess how big the increase is, it is not shocking to us,’ said Richard Tucker, chairman of the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau board.”
Not only did the Commission put us on the hook for what might be described as a luxury item in tough economic times, but now we learn that taxpayers are to be tapped for changes and improvements that were anticipated or possibly even planned, yet not disclosed.
I still trust my friends on the County Commission but if they do not ask the tough questions, hold people accountable and reign this monster in, I can only conclude that they were complicit in the decision to withhold information from the taxpayers of Gwinnett.