Let’s use your money to buy property.

Hey, it’s time for us to buy some property!

No? That’s okay, I couldn’t afford it either.

The interesting thing is, the City of Newark can’t afford it . . .

. . . but that does not seem to be stopping them.

At the upcoming December 8th council meeting, the City will be holding an Executive Session to discuss “site acquisitions for publicly funded capital improvements.”

What that means specifically, we do not know, as Executive Sessions are done BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

What are they trying to hide?

This situation reminds me of the recent case where the City Council — again, behind closed doors — arranged for a land swap to expand their parking lot behind the Galleria.

They got this land by loosely using the threat of eminent domain against the private owner who had land they wanted.

This is the land that the City is proposing to build a $14 Million parking garage on.

There are three issues with that.

First, the City does not have the money. In fact, we are in the midst of budget season, and the city is threatening the residents with another $1.6 million in tax increases!

The University of Delaware owns nearly half the land in the town, but they do not pay property taxes, and every bit of land the City buys is just more land that generates ZERO property tax revenue.

In other words, more than half of the land in this town contributes $0 in property taxes toward the city’s budget.

And instead, that share is payed by YOU as part of the land-owning minority that is forced to pay property taxes, or a tenant of one.

Second, the City should not be involved in the parking garage business.

The city charter is only to provide essential services, yet they have been neglecting $8 Million of storm water drainage repairs for over 16 years!

Third, there is no evidence that a $14 Million parking garage is needed. Personally, I never have trouble finding a parking spot around Main Street . . .

. . . and the city has not provided any data to prove that it is essential to take on $14 Million of debt for such a project.

Instead of spending $14 Million that the City does not have, they would be much smarter to sell the land they propose to build the garage on.

That way, a private business could decide to either maintain the parking lot as it is, or — if there really is a market demand for more parking — build a garage.

Either way, they would be using their own money, not ours.

And it would give the City Administration an immediate infusion of cash so they could almost fully fund the repairs to the #1 essential service problem of the City; our crumbling storm water system.

Each time it rains heavily, our neighbors’ houses get damaged and local businesses have inventory destroyed by the flood waters.

Fixing this problem seems way more important than forcing a property swap and taking on another $14 Million of new debt for a parking garage.

We must insist that the City Council instruct the City Administration to change their proposed budget and act in a more financially responsible way.

Fix the problems and stop wasting our money!

In Liberty,

Jeff Lawrence
Newark Local Coordinator
Campaign for Liberty

P.S. The City of Newark pushed a land swap to expand their Main Street parking lot using the threat of eminent domain. Next, they threaten to add $14 Million of new debt onto our backs to build a non-essential parking garage on that land.

It would be much more responsible to sell that land, fix our flooding streets, and let a private company handle the parking lot.

And they are at it again. At this Monday’s Council meeting, they are going BEHIND CLOSED DOORS again in an Executive Session to discuss the acquisition of more land.

Tell them to stop buying property and focus on the neglected essential services that our city charter demands.