Thursday, June 18, 2015
Woolston's new spin: Wallace-Bajjali made money for Joplin
This morning, Woolston's attempt to rewrite history made its debut in a favorably disposed blog, former KSN reporter Keith Mackey's Joplin Confidential.
The new story- former master developer Wallace-Bajjali made money for the city, instead of ripping it off. Using what he refers to as "figures supplied to Joplin Confidential," Mackey makes the case that Wallace-Bajjali brought in $51 million in grants, tax increment financing (TIF), and tax credits.
It would be safe to conclude that the figures were supplied by Woolston, since he is the only official who is quoted in the story:
“They did bring something to the table,” City Councilman Mike Woolston told Joplin Confidential. He admitted the city made a mistake in contracting with Wallace-Bajjali to be the master developer. “If they had been limited to only planning,” he said. “It would have been better.” In other words, in his estimation, they did good when planning what to build but not so good when it came time to actually put brick and mortar to the projects.
Councilman Woolston is optimistic. He says the city has more options now in getting projects off the ground, and the city can move forward as it is doing.
Obviously the relationship between the city and Wallace-Bajjali didn’t end well. As for the unraveling of the company itself, Woolston cited internal conflicts between Mr. Wallace and Mr. Bajjali.
Of course, left unmentioned in the article is the fact that much of the work to line up those grants and tax credits was done, not by Wallace-Bajjali, but by city employees, the same city employees who could have done the job if the project had been done locally instead of contracting out to Wallace-Bajjali.
Also left unmentioned is the fact that the Loraine Report claims that Woolston was using his influence as a city councilman and as "the tornado mayor" to convince people to sell property, which the developer he was working for then provided to Wallace-Bajjali to sell to the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation for a high markup.