Friday, February 03, 2012

What are they thinking?

We have a relative who is intellectually disabled. Her late parents did everything they could to make her as independent as her abilities allow. Her siblings continue that. The struggles, the triumphs and the tribulations of the situation have sometimes given rise to humorous stories.

One such event was when our cousin received her collection envelopes for the month from the local parish.

The next week, our cousin dutifully placed her weekly tithe in the provided envelope. Unbeknownst to anyone she also included a note.

A day or two later, the parish priest called our uncle. He explained that there had been something "extra" in the week's envelope and proceeded to read the note:

"Ok. I'll give you more money this one time, but it is the last!"

This week, Trenton's city council squawked and fussed but then approved a $500,000 cash call to keep the Marriott at Lafayette Yard solvent for another few months. The hotel, which has been drowning in red ink all but one out of the ten years it has been open, is a white elephant owned and financed by city taxpayers.

Trentonians not only have to pay about $1.5 million a year in debt service (interest on the $60 million in bonds floated to build the facility); we are on the hook for the operating costs.

When there is not enough cash generated by the hotel, the city kicks in some to cover expenses.

Last week, city council acted like our cousin and scolded the hotel board and management company about asking for money, but gave it to them anyway.

We understand the limitations our cousin is dealing with.

What is council's excuse?

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