Elissa Yount: Joint ventures


It is yet to be seen if another meeting to “talk” about joint ventures will bring about the corrective action that is long overdue for the city taxpayers whose tax money is suppose to take care of our city.

If the city would stop joint venture funding and then reduce the tax rate and budget for just half of the over $2 million that we are paying, a lot of things could change around here.

On the corner of Chavasse Avenue and William Street there is a real mess that has been there for many weeks. The pictures speak louder than what I can say. Piles on concrete have hardened, cones have obstructed the water flow, a sign has been left lying on the ground, and no one has made the effort to get this job done correctly, much less clean up what they left.

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Do you suppose that if the city had just half of what it is contributing to joint ventures then there would be employees who would be able to oversee work regardless of who does it and make sure it is done to a higher standard than this mess? I think so.

About a block away, beside the shopping center that houses Food Lion and Dollar General, a building has completely fallen in. Again, the pictures speak louder than words. This has been there since Labor Day. It is dangerous, it is unsightly, it is deplorable, and it will affect property values all around it. The new construction of an auto parts store and the beautification and renovation at MR Williams are within shouting distance of this mess.

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Chavasse Avenue & Williams Street 11-2010

Do you suppose that if Henderson had just half of what we spend on joint ventures that we could have more code enforcement officers who would be on top of a disgrace like this in our city? I think so.

Today it is a long shot that the Beacon Light complex will be demolished. There is no need to go into all of the injustices of keeping that complex. However, we should ask why fines aren’t being levied against the owner on a daily basis and accruing to such a large amount that keeping that property will not be profitable for the owner who has the potential of really taking the city for a hit?

Do you suppose that if Henderson had just half of what we spend on joint ventures that we could have a full-time attorney who would keep a fire lit under situations like this? I think so.

Do you suppose that with an extra $1 million the city could afford to put playground equipment at Owens Davis Park? Do you suppose they could cut the bushes back at the intersections of major city streets and get the street lights in repair? Do you suppose they could SWEEP the STREETS even once a month? The possibilities are endless of what we could do as a city if we had that money to use for the city.

There are not enough synonyms for “unfair” in the thesaurus to describe joint venture funding. The latest lame excuse is: County taxes are higher than city taxes, and that would just make my county taxes go up. Well, maybe, but the increase would be spread over every taxpayer in the county, and therefore and your city taxes will go way down. The county could actually be pressed to use some of our hefty county fund balance to even make a tax increase unnecessary.

If you put a calculator to it, you can figure exactly how much you are paying for joint ventures each month of the year. Then you can figure out how much someone in the county with the same tax assessment is paying. Maybe those figures will shake you awake.