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Theater is losing endeavor for the City
Regarding Robert Whales article ("City mulls Avenue Theater's future, whether to renew lease", Auburn Reporter, Sept. 27): While I find the article somewhat informative, there seem to be a few important facts left out.
The City agreed to lease a dilapidated building, with an assessed value of $195,000, for $66,000 a year for 15 years. They also agreed, without even inspecting the structural integrity, to take responsibility for every aspect of the buildings costs, repairs and maintenance.
Who does that?
Immediately after signing the lease, it was discovered that the building was in such bad shape that it would need $100,000 in "emergency" repairs, thereby bypassing any bidding process and hiring a company of their choosing. And the costs kept coming.
Even if the City's numbers are correct, and theater goers actually spent an average of $23 per visit to local businesses, a number I find hard to believe, it still doesn't begin to make a dent in the annual cost of almost $500,000. No business person in their right mind would ever enter into a contract like this. Unless, it didn't cost that person anything. It's all being paid for by you, the taxpayer.
This business endeavor of Pete Lewis' will never see a nickel in profit. Ever. Nancy Backus profited, though. She received $5,600 in campaign contributions from the theater owners and their families. This is a perfect example of a City administration run amok. And that's just the beginning.
There's the golf course, the city annex, the municipal court, the new jail, the promenade and now the community center. Each of these projects are losing money that comes from your pocket. And who stands next to Pete Lewis, and without question or research votes in favor of every one of these deals that are costing you millions of dollars a year? Nancy Backus.
Her supporters continue to write letters attesting to her financial skills and leadership qualities. But saying something over and over doesn't make it true. The facts speak for themselves. Nancy Backus does not exemplify leadership or financial responsibility.
If you want to see this City prosper again, move forward with the changing times, then you need to vote for real change, real leadership, open and responsible financial integrity. You need to vote for John Partridge.
– Mark Silberling