Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scearce on KZRG: Wallace, Mark Rohr responsible for Wallace-Bajjali contract

The deck was stacked against the city of Joplin from the start.

During an interview moments ago on KZRG, City Councilman Bill Scearce said the city's contract with Wallace-Bajjali was created by David Wallace and former City Manager Mark Rohr and was entirely written by Wallace's attorney.

"It was brought to us as a take it or leave it contract."

At the time, Scearce noted, much pressure was being put on the council by the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, a group of business people put together primarily by Rohr and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian.

Scearce, who expressed reservations about the contract, said he had been hopeful everything would work out, "We wanted this to be successful. It they had been, this city would be better," but he added, "I've been critical of David Wallace and his non-performance for quite a while."


Anonymous said...

Who is on the CART committee?

Anonymous said...

Funny not your fault but you still voted to approve it though, didn't you!

Anonymous said...

You can find all of the CART members by Googling Joplin CART members. Some notables:
Clifford Wert
Jane Cage
Darieus Adams

Interesting combination. You begin to see a pattern emerge...

Anonymous said...

"We wanted this to be successful. It they had been, this city would be better,"

If wishes were fishes we'd all swim in riches

So you know Mr. Searce...you weren't elected to be the Joplin wishing council...throwing taxpayer money down the wishing well...hoping it will all turn out well... as you were railroaded like sheeple...

The real question is: Were palms greased?

Anonymous said...

How did that vote go, that is, who voted for and did any vote against it?

By that time the city council surely should have known they couldn't trust Rohr. Did they officially know that the city lawyer had no input into it, as it sounds like from Scearce's comments?

Anonymous said...

Why is Clifford Wert on CART if he is a resident of WC?

Anonymous said...

What I'm really wondering about is what's up with this and the school district as reported without useful analysis in the Globe article "Joplin superintendent says school taking loss from TIF district."

I can't quite figure out what's going on, but one interpretation might be that district won't be getting around $20 million it was counting on, and explicitly hasn't gotten $450K last year and $1 million this year on taxes never collected on residential construction that never happened, plus an eye popping $13 million lump sum due this year, and another $1.4 million due "soon."

This paragraph in the article is priceless:

"The TIF agreement and the (memorandum of understanding) between the school district and Wallace Bajjali both state that until all outstanding TIF obligations are met, there is no money to pay back the school district," Anselm said in an email responding to questions about the TIF payments to the school district.

It is implied that Huff and/or the board would have had to sign off on this, and even to someone like him we're talking a lot of money here.

Anonymous said...

"""At the time, Scearce noted, much pressure was being put on the council by the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team, a group of business people put together primarily by Rohr and Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce President Rob O'Brian."""

Why weren't REAL business people/owners put on this CART board?? The listed members are nothing but socialite, egotistical bullies!! Where is the oversight committee for this town?? All of the people that gave a damn about Joplin are dead and gone. Those that are left have become complacent and let money and outsiders take over. It is sad that Joplin has become just another corrupt small town.

Anonymous said...

Right or wrong, how convenient Rohr got thrown under the bus. Still yet, the contract and subsequent negotiations HAD to have been approved by the City Council did they not?

Anonymous said...

Joplin Globe: Joplin superintendent says school taking loss from TIF district

"School district officials had high hopes for the redevelopment efforts that were expected to take place in the TIF district to spur tax revenue increases, Huff said,"

But he's got high hopes
He's got high hopes
He's got high apple pie
In the sky hopes

Dusty Roads said...

Scearce and Rosie are the only councilmen that ever question anything and Golden always went along with them, but the powers that be got Jack voted out. That is what all the Rohr supporters wanted, well there you go,enjoy.

Anonymous said...

I attended every TIF committee meeting. The voted chairman of the committee was the local president of Arvest bank, which gave Wallace the loan to buy back the Coke property. Glad I don't bank there. It was well known that the TIF would take millions from the school district as that is the main mechanism of a TIF. The agreement that Huff signed of on was written as a memorandum of understanding, which I doubt has any legal holding in law. I wrote a letter to every council member at the time specifying many actual statements made by Wallace and printed in the Globe that easily showed him to be a scam. I wrote the same letter to the Globe which had no interest in printing questionable statements from there own newspaper. There is a huge written proposal created by a TIF specialist outfit in St. Louis that paints all these glorious projects that could come about from a TIF. No one has mentioned how much the city paid for this report. It is full of contradictions and pie in the sky predictions. The only council member I saw present at any of these meetings was Scearce. At least he was there. It is just amazing that all these supposedly savvy well off business people could even think of falling for this trash. The TIF when reading the it along side Missouri statutes is illegal. Maybe someone with the funding could challenge it in court. That is the only hope for the School. Don't forget, the school went along with the whole thing on nothing but a side agreement from a con man.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't Gary Box around to comment?

Anonymous said...

Good question 1:02. The same could be asked about Rob O'Brian at the Chamber, where Box previously worked. What sayeth Mr. O'Brian about all this?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @12:01 PM: Thanks for your explanations and history.

One question: where does the money diverted from the school district go to?

Anonymous said...

And now Rohr is claiming(on the 6 pm news)that he was forced to work with Wallace-Bajjali--it wasn't his idea at all!!!!! Poor man--he's being blamed for others' mistakes boo-effing-hoo. I hope the auditors take a look at his personal financials for the past 4 years.

Anonymous said...

To answer the question about the TIF. The TIF, in this case the city sells bonds and then the money "diverted" goes to pay back the bonds that were sold.
TIF stands for Tax Increment Financing look it up. School districts hate them and never support them, well almost.

Anonymous said...

More evidence as to Huff's underlying incompetence. Important people came up to him and were nice to him and said everything would be okay, and instead of actually researching it and learning about it - skills he doesn't have - he just took them at their word. Patterns, patterns.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @7:05 PM: Thanks, I've been avoiding getting into the details of this until more info was available, although I did skim the Wikipedia page on it, which includes lots of criticism of TIFs.

Trying to interpret the not so well written Globe article, it sounds like the original plan was to sell $45 million in bonds, but they ended up selling only $18 million, netting the city $13.5 million "after costs". Which right there is a big problem, 25% of the bond sales never made it to the city. And we don't know the carrying costs for the bonds or what the tax revenues from the TIF district are.

But we do know that Huff approved this, although we don't know if he had much choice in that, and that the TIF district, as many of them end up doing, is under-preforming. Since of course Wallace-Bajjali doesn't actually end up succeeding in any of its projects, has never done anything to turn a shovel of dirt in the city, and has now gone "poof".

So the TIF district has and will be making various entities money, whoever got that 25% vig from the sales, and those who will be receiving money from that $13.5 million pot of it the city has (and that process is of course 100% political). The city's citizens and the school district, not so much.

And unfortunately, unless corners were cut, it doesn't sound like any real crimes were committed. But we should vote out every person who had anything to do with this, including city councilmen like Scearce who didn't have what it takes to recognize and/or vote against something that was not in the city's or school district's interests.


Anonymous said...

Crooks where are the police and FBI probe.