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MsKreed last won the day on May 26

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  1. MsKreed

    First Arena

    Valid comparison..... There is a small handful of non-profit organizations seem to have enormous control over a lot of financial matters in the County. And there is a good amount of “cross-over” with many of the same businesses and individuals having seats on those various (unelected) Boards of Directors (CCIDA, STEG, even the Chamber of Commerce, etc). That's why there needs to be a full examination and accountability on the finances. It really isn’t a far stretch to believe some of these entities, given free rein, could have incentives to discourage growth and prosperity in some sectors. While some of those business interests have changed over the years, there’s been a rumor floating since the 1950’s that a few such influential Boards and “community leaders” were instrumental in preventing Ford Motors from opening a plant in Elmira.....due to fears of potential competition that may force them to raise wages/benefits for their own workforces.
  2. MsKreed

    First Arena

    Back to Square One should entail a full, transparent and publicly accessible audit and historical accounting of annual costs to taxpayers before the CCIDA makes any more decisions......and before any further funds are paid by the Legislature/Exec (including a hold on any currently approved ARP funds that have not been disbursed yet). There have been a lot of costs over the years – some more widely publicized than others. Here are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head: It was in the news in 1999 when the County Legislature forked over more than $1 million. Later, the CCIDA purchased the building for $3.5 million (including $1M allocated from Casella grant contributions). A large chunk of the County Room tax goes straight to the IDA for Arena operations every year ($103k for at least the past 10 years - so more than $1 million - and still counting). The nearly $1 million ($375k + $500k) approved from the County ARP funds were a little less public and listed on Minutes/Agendas as “budget transfers” to the CCIDA. None of the Arena owners have ever paid Property taxes (only sewer and special taxes, when they aren’t in arrears). This was even when it was assessed at a $17 million Market Value. That assessment has dropped dramatically over the years (to a low of $1.1 M in 2014, and now back “up” to $2.4M). At the new “depreciated” values of $1-2M....the County, City and School taxes on comparably assessed commercial add up to something like $40-60,000 in lost tax revenue every year, for over two decades. And I’d wager a guess that a full accounting would reveal a few more (hidden costs and expenses) that I’m not even aware have taken place year after year.
  3. MsKreed

    First Arena

    Read more at WENY News
  4. In last night's Elmira Mayoral Debate (Watch HERE), there were a lot of questions about Downtown Development and improvement. As the challenging candidate seemed unaware of many issues, I have to say the Incumbent seemed to be more of a handle on things. However, it sounded like the same answer for a lot of questions: We inherited it 8 years ago, it's improving, and will continue to improve as we apply and receive more Grant Money. When asked about the recurring issues of homeless encampment and human waste in the City Garage.....Mayor Mandel assured viewers that this is only a “periodic” problem and feces generally gets cleaned up as soon as they find out about it.
  5. Disney doesn’t even own the rights to most of its "original" movies. From the 1920s or 30s......Walt’s blueprint was to cash in on uncopyrighted old Classics, Fairy Tales & Folklore that were Public Domain. Snow White, Cinderella, Robin Hood, Hans Christian Andersen (Little Mermaid), Kipling (Jungle Book)
  6. MsKreed

    First Arena

    Seems like Chemung County should look at its own Glass House if we're going to throw stones...
  7. MsKreed

    First Arena

    Absolutely!! Donner may have seized the opportunity to con the CCIDA, but he didn't create the situation. The County (and City at the beginning) have refused to cut our losses and admit the Arena is a burden that needs to be abandoned as a publicly owned facility. I think that the last 20+ years of drama have possibly blurred perception of what “success” for the Arena is supposed to look like. Simply offsetting a small portion of the taxpayers’ ongoing costs is a net loss – not a “successful” business venture. Admittedly, I’m not a live hockey fan or player or parent of a hockey kid......I don’t even have an understating of the various leagues like ECHL or FPHL, etc (other than NHL is the “big” one). But I will totally accept the word of hockey fans who say that, at some point, First Arena was filling seats at hockey games. The (several) million-dollar question is whether just hockey will pay the bills. From the start, it was assumed that was not the case, and the Arena would need to be a multi-use venue that drew crowds for events in addition to hockey. In 1999 when the City and County first “invested” in the place......it was touted as a “Civic Center” that would host all kinds of events for broad audiences year round. The original owners almost immediately defaulted on bills and were several years in arrears for property taxes before the County took ownership (and removed it from tax rolls). To date, no operator has ever been able to draw enough revenue to maintain the facility and cover operating expenses.....let alone pay City, County and School taxes. In fact, other than the original Afr promises (that quickly proved false), has anyone ever even offered to try to operate the Arena as a fully self-sustaining business that can pay for operations, staffing, maintenance and taxes from its own sales?
  8. Yeah, both parties have been steadily losing support as their “bases” (aka fanatics) push the extremes. This trend threatens their stronghold on power and it scares them: FUAC and his Albany majority took the opportunity to squash the moderate middle voters who now outnumber the “major parties”.....and Heaven forbid they recognize that the problem is that they keep catering to the loony-toons extremes and just go back to being moderate as a party. 🙄
  9. Agreed, running a farce campaign to mock the system, while calling yourself Libertarian is a disservice to the Libertarian Party.....particularly when they are fighting to be recognized again in NYS, after the State Board of Elections raised the threshold for automatic ballot access (from 50,000 votes to 130,000 votes) in 2020.
  10. MsKreed

    First Arena

    To me, this reeks of shadiness. If anything, the CCIDA has not been nearly transparent enough about the operations and finances of this publicly owned facility.
  11. MsKreed

    First Arena

    I'd like to see it auctioned off to any private buyer who wants it. If someone wants to use their own money to try to turn a profit (without any extra incentives, backroom deals or strings attached for taxpayers), more power to them! It's been owned by the County (under its shell companies STED and IDA) for about 10 years and wholly exempt from all taxes. Real Property shows an assessment of $2 million. Aside from the operating costs and ARP money it's sucking up, how much tax revenue has been lost in that time? Ten years of no City taxes, no County taxes and no School taxes. Even if someone buys it for a $100 and leaves it vacant, as long as they're paying taxes I think it's a better deal for the entire county.
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