I want to express my complete disagreement with the Coliseum Authority’s decision to vote in favor of the Regency Mall location for a new James Brown Arena.
The decision smells of insider-trading, greased palms and a complete disregard for the recommendations of the taxpayer-financed Sink Combs Dethlefs consultants’ report. It seems to reflect “if we build it, they will come” thinking, which is not visionary but delusional!
Downtown Augusta is the historic center of the city, existing long before south Augusta or west Augusta. It has the hotels, restaurants, museums and historic sites that invite visitors and, of course, it has the Savannah River. I cannot think of another rejuvenated, water-front city that did not take advantage of its waterfront.
There certainly does seem to be a sense of “It’s our turn” coming from south Augusta, but it is being perpetuated by Mayor Davis and his cronies like Darren Smith.
The deal stinks – it favors the mall owner, Cardinale, over taxpayers; will cost taxpayers a fortune to fix; and, at the end, if I understand correctly, the property will revert to Cardinale, except for the 10 acres it is “giving” the city.
I am at a complete loss to understand such mindless, irrational thinking! It worries me greatly that we are witnessing the Detroit-ification of Augusta, due to poor governance and self-interest over the common good.
Jo-Ellen McDonough Catto