Election

Nov 4, 2013 8:20 PM by Janine Reyes

Anti Destination Bayfront Groups Rally for Votes

CORPUS CHRISTI -- Tomorrow, voters will finally decide the future of Destination Bayfront. It's been a hotly contested item for months with groups weighing in for and against the first phase of the $44.5 million project.

A grassroots group called Neighborhoods First opposes the plan. The treasurer of Neighborhoods First calls it a case of David vs Goliath, saying the Desination Bayfront backers have raised $145,000 to their $3,000 campaign.

The group argues that the city simply cannot afford the project, and certainly not while competing with other issues like higher property taxes and utility fees for street repair and infrastructure.

Opponents say big money is backing the project, because they stand to profit if the project passes.

"What they're wanting to do is go out and show pretty pictures, they don't want the pretty pictures to be obscured by the financial facts of the situation," said Craig Pierce.

For now the group is phone banking and handing out pamphlets, urging voters to say no on the ballot tomorrow.

Another point Neighborhood First wants to get out there is that past projects like the American Bank Center and Whataburger Field went way over budget and they fear that could happen again with Destination Bayfront.

What's more, they say we don't need Destination Bayfront for tourism. They argue that visitors won't come to Corpus Christi to see a park.

"With the growth from Eagle Ford and the growth of new businesses, huge businesses, building plants here in Corpus Christi, we do not need a game changer," Pierce said, "We need to manage our infrastructure for all of the growth that is coming our way."

As their name suggests, Neighborhoods First wants to send a strong message to the city council that they put our neighborhoods first and work on street repair and other issues on our doorfronts before working on our bayfront.

Another group has come forward with the same stance. It's led by Del Mar College Professor Jerry Sansing. He says a project like Destination Bayfront would be okay if it weren't funded by taxpayer dollars.

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