What’s wrong with this picture?

87th st motel demolition announcementLynn Horsley reported on the two blighted motels on 87th Street just north of the Cerner development being torn down. I’m sure the police and the community are glad to see this finally happening; but there was an interesting mix of people there for a press conference.

Apparently, Councilman Scott Taylor offered remarks as Councilman McManus looked on. This is only a little strange since both of these men represent the sixth councilmanic district and the area of the motels is in the fifth. Those council representatives didn’t seem to make the photo, so one can only conclude that they weren’t present. Could that mean they didn’t care or that no one notified them?

Another interesting person present was John Sharp, who was referred to as a “dignitary”, even though he’s a private citizen. Maybe it actually isn’t so strange that he should be there since he seems to show up at everything. Apparently he has no life so nothing better to do with his time; although, maybe he was there because he was a proponent of pushing through the Cerner TIF. It has often rightly been pointed out that the Hickman Mills School District will, over time, receive $6M from Cerner (with Cerner having a voice in how that money is spent). What is often neglected in the conversation, is that the school district will be losing $340M over the next 23 years (the life of the TIF) in school taxes that will be diverted back to the development.

Of course, he also promoted the motel area being part of the TIF area. That way, instead of paying the owners a reasonable price, Cerner could use eminent domain to gain control. All in all Cerner faired pretty well with welfare from the school district. Nice going Mr. Sharp.

Noticeably absent, other than the fifth district council people, is anyone from the actual community. That’s probably because none of the leaders were notified; though you would think as a mayoral candidate, Councilman Taylor might want to share his spotlight with some of those whose vote he would like to win. All in all, an interesting mix of people, more notable for who wasn’t there.