Bond Bomb

On Sept. 22 the public was subjected to a lazy attempt by County Council to justify the $43 million dollar Fairfield Facilities Corporation bond. The aforementioned presentation was more of an insult to the public’s intelligence than a cogent argument in favor of the creation of a shell corporation to facilitate burdening the citizenry with a massive debt. Did Council expect we would be so dazzled by a fluffy slide show we would overlook the lack of meaningful dollars and cents detail?

Indeed, the public was very disappointed because “The Bond” defense lawyer/presenter did not provide any meaningful dollar figures. Further, even when pressed by the public, this defender of Council failed to provide any substantive answers. To be fair, the defender did seem to agree with the public on the folly of relying on the nuclear industry to supply a stream of revenue to fund “The Bond.” Otherwise, “The Bond” defense lacked substance and was light on bottom-line numbers. Was he just unprepared? Did he underestimate the intelligence and interest of the public? Was he ignorant of the facts? Did this defender believe it was in council’s best interest for the public not to know all the facts? Was it just a big oops? Or did he fail due to some other, perhaps, legitimate reason? Only the defender knows the real answers to those questions.

The answers to those questions, however, are not very important in relation to the need for all to know the all the truly pertinent facts related to “The Bond.” Getting answers to the following “The Bond” questions are paramount for the public:

1. What are the projected total costs of the bond including costs related to:

A. The principal;

B. The interest on the principal;

C. Legal fees;

D Brokerage fees;

E. Consulting fees;

F. Outside defense speaking fees;

G. Administrative fees;

H. Any other associated fees;

I. The principal and interest on the maximum amount of GO bonds which may be issued to refinance “The Bond” (this practice has already been put in play);

K. All fees associated with the supporting GO bonds;

L. Any county assets (i.e. cash) which might be used to help pay for the supporting GO bonds;

2. What is the expected economic and social value return on the “The Bond” investment? Incredibly, that answer cannot be known yet since there is not a plan in place on how to invest the funds;

3. How can you commit to tens of millions (yes this exact number is hidden from public view) of public dollars without a specific plan?

4. Why was Council in such a hurry to put this costly shell corporation in place before they even had specific plans to spend the receipts or pay off the debt?

5. Why was Council in such a hurry to rush this historic process while knowing they had received so little public input ( yes we citizens share part of this blame for being too trusting without verifying). Lesson learned. Another Interesting note is the relevant fact Council felt compelled to delay the $17K community enhancement process when insufficient input was received but plowed straight ahead with almost nonexistent public input concerning “The $43 million Bond”?

6. When will the public get these answers?

Randy Bright

Ridgeway

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