When it comes to Berry’s Boondoggle ART bus project, City Councilor Ken “I am running for Mayor for sure this time” Sanchez really needs to remember that old saying, “when you are in a hole, stop digging.”
First, City Councilor Ken Sanchez supports and votes to proceed to build the ART bus project ignoring pleas to put it to a public vote, over the objections of many of his own constituents and businesses in his City Council District, even when the federal funding has not been approved. Councilor Ken Sanchez then announces he wants to give free bus rides to people who will never use ART saying it will bring back business to the area. Councilor Sanchez then says he wants a “tax free zone” along Central to help businesses affected by the ART bus project where there would be no charging gross receipts tax on sales, knowing full well the State needs to approve the proposal, which is not likely. A “tax free zone” will not help at all if there is no business or no sales in the first place because of ART, especially when they go out of business. Now Councilor Sanchez says he is “shocked” that only $100,000 is available for ART loans when he was told $2.5 million would be available.
The City’s Economic Development Director Gary Oppedahl also says that the loans will only be available to businesses that could prove that ART construction hurt their sales and that loans would only be available for the period of time when construction was occurring right in front of their business, not across the street. In other words, the City wants you to borrow money because you are losing profits as a result of the ART bus project and you have to pay it back with interest, but you first have to wait to get the loan and prove your in debt!
Would someone please take away the shovel from Ken?