Sep 6, 2013 6:37 PM by Caroline Flores - firstname.lastname@example.org
CORPUS CHRISTI - When Corpus Christi voters go to the polls in November they'll vote on whether public funds will be used to finance the Destination Bayfront project. Opponents of the bond proposal argue the project was supposed to be privately funded, but city officials say that's not so.
"They kept telling everybody, including the city council that... hey, we got people that's gonna donate the money. it ain't gonna cost the tax payers any money," said Tax Payers Association President Jack Gordy.
This is what most residents heard back in 2010 when Destination Bayfront was just being thought of. That statement is true, but to a point. The Mayor says the original exploration of the project was completely privately funded, but the project it self never was.
"The confusion is that the original money to explore, that's the distinction, came from some generous people that just wanted an opportunity to see if it would was going to be viable of this public private partnership," said Mayor Nelda Martinez.
But that is not how many people in our community understood the statement.
"They just said it was going to be paid for by private donations. And I took that to mean from the start to the finish," said Gordy.
But Councilman Loeb says it was never the Destination Bayfront groups intention to privately fund the entire project.
"The commitment was made to privately raise the money to run that process, but not to execute the project and build it," said Council Member David Loeb.
He says the plan was to always have the public fund a portion of the project and a private entity fund the other. He even showed me the original PowerPoint from June of 2010. In it you can see where they showed how other cities funded their parks and this is how the Destination Bayfront group was suggesting Corpus Christi fund ours as well. All of them had the public fund a portion of the project.