Gaining public input is why Chalfant said he is organizing the citizens committee.
Monday, Steve "Thunder" Tumlin, the leading mayoral candidate in November's city elections, raised questions about the plan in a letter to the editor in Monday's Journal, strongly suggesting the council get an opinion from the attorney general before a vote. Tumlin's letter seemed to mobilize public opinion, which raised even more questions about the plan, from its legality to the fuzzy details only recently disclosed.
The intent was to take the bonds off the market and wait for interest rates to drop.
"Darden was sent up here by Mortin and (bond attorney Earle) Taylor to salvage the deal and bring the bacon home," said an attendee at Wednesday's meeting, who is close to the situation.
would sit on it. He did say it could possibly be comprised of council member appointees and ethics leaders in the community. The committee would be free to give an opinion on any aspect of the deal, including the legality of it and if it is a good plan for the city, he said. The deal is said to save the city $300,000 annually, but after paying a $4 million prepayment penalty on the existing bond and a $350,000 fee, many agreed that a rushed decision wouldn't be prudent. representative for Georgia's 7th District, and current senior counsel with Atlanta based law firm McKenna Long Aldridge, to talk of the legality of the deal.
Darden said he was hired by the city, but said he did not know when he was retained to serve as bond counsel and told the Journal to contact Joe Krolikowski, with McKenna Long Aldridge, who said Darden has been involved "for at least a month," since McKenna Long Aldridge took over as bond counsel in the matter on Aug. 1. Taylor and Krolikowski had been working on the bond issue with Atlanta based law firm Kilpatrick Stockton. The bond sector of Kilpatrick Stockton moved over to McKenna after spending years as the DMDA's legal counsel.
Almost ironically, a poll of council members in last Friday's Journal resulted in four members favoring the plan. But on Nike Air Max 95 All Colors
Although the Journal was originally told by Mortin that reserves were used to buy up the bonds, Lady said that is not the case. The city does not have a specific security assigned to it."
Questions of legality could stem from issues in the past. Tax allocation district attorneys, for example, were proved wrong when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to use school tax revenues to help underwrite redevelopment efforts.
Essentially, the plan is to reduce monthly bond payments that were to be covered with income from Remington, the company managing the hotel. While those payments to the city are fixed, payments on the existing $30 million bond debt the city owes on the hotel are not. So last year, when interest rates spiked, the city faced an annual shortfall of $300,000. In response to the shortfall, the city's financial director, Sam Lady, without a City Council vote, according to city attorney Doug Haynie, began buying up the existing bonds in November.
Nonetheless, council voted 7 0 Wednesday to ask for an opinion on the matter from the Georgia attorney general.
As for why Taylor, who has been handling the bond deal, was not at Wednesday's meeting, Darden said, "I Air Max Evolution Pack
"I got the impression that they wanted to look at it more," he said. "And who could criticize them for that. They're doing their job. Our job is to make sure we do a legal transaction."
And it is a legal transaction, he said.
The deal which was fast tracked to a council vote, including bypassing the finance committee was shot down in a 4 3 vote Wednesday, with those opposed stating they did not have enough time to digest the details of the plan. Council members were handed the plan just last Air Max High Top Shoes Thursday one day after qualifying ended for the Nov. 3 election, and just before the Labor Day weekend. It was hurried onto the agenda at the request of Mayor Bill Dunaway.
MARIETTA A citizens committee is being formed to present an opinion to the city's finance committee regarding a controversial and complicated financial deal that would restructure the bond debt on the city owned Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel Conference, Councilman Grif Chalfant said.
Bruton, in an e mail to the Journal, said the city's five main investments, as reported by the finance department, are "Wachovia Evergreen Investment Fund, Georgia Fund 1, Meag competitive trust fund, Hilton bonds and US Bank Investment Account."
"Intergovernmental agreements have been done many times in the state of Georgia," he said. "There's nothing unique with and intergovernmental agreement. The legal part of this is very well settled."
But after the council voted 4 3 to kill the deal, Darden, for now, went home empty handed.
Councilwoman Holly Walquist asked that question Wednesday. Councilman Jim King asked what the purpose is in asking that question.
On whether he believes the deal would be good for the city, Darden said, "That is a matter addressed to the city. I don't think it would be proper for me to comment on that"
Councilman Chalfant replied to King, "She's trying to find out how we got here."
Citizens group to study failed city bond plan
As of Thursday, Chalfant did not have many details worked out about the composition of the committee including who and how many people Nike Air Max 95 Black Grey Green
However, Darden told the Journal Thursday he is not pushing either way for the deal.
think he was at a meeting on another deal."
Councilman Philip Goldstein told the Journal Thursday that he needed to check with staff as to why the bonds are the way they are.
Meanwhile, Dunaway remains adamantly in favor of the plan and said he is going to bring it back before council "as soon as possible," which could be at a special called meeting or at its regular meeting on Oct. 14.
Perhaps the biggest question is why the city got into a variable rate on the existing bonds.
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