A politician once told me that the highest of highs and the lowest of lows comes in the political arena. If you participate in this venue, you’ll find out very quickly what your community really thinks of your leadership abilities, I wish Mr. Kennamer would do that instead of constantly complaining.
Mr. Kennamer likes to point out that the people need a vote on this issue ... they did that at the last municipal election. The voters gave the mayor and council the power to represent them and serve their interests.
The terms of the lease really bother him.
If one takes it out of the context of the entire scope of the project ... it could sound a bit unreasonable. When you factor in the MILLIONS of dollars in facilities and infrastructure paid by Mr. Lawler, it’s not unreasonable at all. In fact, it’s a win-win for Guntersville and Mr. Lawler.
In the covenants of the agreement, Mr. Lawler has to hit predetermined sales tax goals and if he misses those targets the lease changes in favor of the city.
In Mr. Kennamer’s world, he says by selling bonds “the city would get all the profit without any liability. A bond by definition is a debt instrument. It would show up on the city’s balance sheet as, guess what, a liability!
If the city had floated a bond issue, gotten into the marina, restaurant and hotel business, and it failed to produce enough revenue to service the bond debt, it could possibly bankrupt the city!
Another downside to this option would be that the city’s borrowing power would be diminished for future endeavors.
Mr. Kennamer mentions the hotel issue. The developer opted out because of the litigation brought about by Mr. Kennamer, plain and simple. With the location and vista of this incredible property, Mr. Lawler has a couple of other developers that he is negotiating with as I type this letter.
I know all this because I’ve known Patrick Lawler and have done business with him since 1985. In plain English, he will do what he says he will do! If you have any doubts about his vision and performance abilities, take a ride over to the Reserve development off Conner’s Island to get an idea of what a gifted developer can accomplish.
We should be thankful to Patrick Lawler for investing his time, energy and capital in our community, and the tax revenue metrics will prove this out.