The Egyptian, TIF, & the Survival Budget

The Daily Chronicle published my comments on this lovely Friday the 13th.

In Thursday’s editorial, “Egyptian worth the investment,” the Daily Chronicle’s editorial board asserted that an improved Egyptian Theatre would be a plus for downtown. I agree.

However, something’s been missed in the analysis: a peek into our collective wallet. Continue reading The Egyptian, TIF, & the Survival Budget

De Nile

ReNew DeKalb wants to give more than $1 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) money to Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre.

Who doesn’t love the Egyptian? I love P.E.T.’s director and its board because they follow the rules, and because they try to provide events for every budget.

But we’ve given the Egyptian $592,500 since 2008. The Egyptian is starting to look like our airport in terms of handouts. And there’s still a recession on.

I think we’d all be better off using the TIF monies for more direct help with jobs. Job training and housing rehab are both TIF-eligible expenditures.

P.E.T. Does It. Why Won’t ReNew?

Last week I submitted a FOIA request to the City of DeKalb to review meeting minutes from the Preservation of the Egyptian Theater (P.E.T.) organization. Today I stopped by the Municipal Building to pick up two years’ worth, which translated to minutes of 17 meetings. Such accessibility is made possible by a provision of P.E.T.’s contract with the City of DeKalb (p. 242):

F. SUBMISSION OF ANNUAL BUDGET, AUDITOR’S REPORT & MEETING MINUTES: P.E.T. shall submit a copy of their most recent annual budget, Auditor’s Report, and copies of any board meeting minutes of any meeting where the receipt or use of City funding is discussed or acted upon, within thirty days of the approval of such documents.

P.E.T. hereby certifies it shall comply with the Open Meetings Act when the receipt or use of City funding is discussed or acted upon.

You may recall that I also submitted a FOIA request for ReNew DeKalb meeting minutes from the past two years because ReNew has the same clause in its contract with the City, and when doesn’t ReNew talk about use of City money? –but, even after an appeal, they are not forthcoming.

Some follow the rules while others flout them.

Thanks, P.E.T., for choosing the former.