Don Reid has never been one to mince words. The former four term Republican Charlotte City councilman (1991-1999) established a record of fiscal conservatism while in office. Since leaving political office, Reid has continued on as a conservative leader in The Queen City.
Reid told us recently that the city’s current troubles with The Bobcats basketball team — plus the city government’s economic woes made public by the city manager’s recent revelation that the city is in “decline” — are a product of poor leadership in city government:
Instead of selling the Tyvola Coliseum to him for an offer of $60 million, we drove [ Hornets owner] George Shinn out of town and then proceeded to implode the coliseum and spend $200 million on the uptown arena. Then, in order to please the diversity crowd and appear world class, we chose Bob Johnson, who knew nothing about basketball, over a Larry Bird group, and you see what that got us. Now, we have [Michael] Jordan who has never been successful at running anything, and just look at the franchise now—7 wins and a bunch of players who would probably lose to any of the teams in the NCAA final four.
The property on Tyvola is now a weed patch; we have a $200 million debt on the backs of the taxpayer and we have, by contract, given the uptown arena to Jordan. He operates it, schedules all events and makes all the profits from these events. And we wonder why our city manager is asking for a billion dollar bond issue to pay for infrastructure!
Under the leadership of Mayors McCrory and now Foxx, we have allowed the uptown crowd to practically bankrupt our city and in the process turned control of our city over to big spending Democrats, who use our money to buy the votes of those who live in the parts of town who pay little of the tax burden.
And unfortunately folks, it’s too late to change this pattern. There’s not a city in the U.S. controlled by Democrats, with a large minority population, that is not in desperate economic and social straits. Because of Charlotte’s great prosperity from about 1990 to 2007, it will take us a while to get there, but it’s a’coming. When our city manager warns that we’re in trouble and then asks for higher taxes and more debt to solve the problem, the message spells trouble for Charlotte!
Forget what Jordan says….he will sell the franchise if he finds it in his best financial interests.