Friday, December 19, 2008

Going Out of Business Sales

Daddy Warbucks, the ultimate local news sleuth and inside dopester, reveals two good examples of hubris and hard times in Fayetteville. His latest column in the Fayetteville Free Weekly takes note that the annual delinquent tax deadbeat list for Washington County is out. The largest amount in arrears is Pinnacle Air at $267,757 in back taxes, but it also includes the Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Fayetteville, $13,734.

One of the deadbeats is a habitual offender. "The Cosmopolitan Hotel, the last Daddy W. heard, is a project of developers Nock, Alexander, et al. who have said they are busy trying to put another hotel in downtown where the big open hole that will become a parking lot is." Then Daddy asks, "Will we in 2011, read that the property taxes on South Pass are delinquent?" Speaking of which, where's that check for $1 million and that warranty deed for the 200-acre park?

Daddy also uncovers an even sadder deal gone bad. "Not that the local media cares, but Daddy W. hears that Mayor Dan Coody is offering his office furniture for sale. When the lame duck mayor took office eight years ago, Daddy W. recalls that Coody used his city allowance to buy a car. But, wanting fancier furniture for his new office, Coody bought new furniture out of his pocket and now he wants to sell it. Daddy W. also hears that incoming Mayor Lioneld Jordan turned down the offer and will use city surplus for his office." That's quite a change from the French Empire throne room of the last eight years.

I'm sure that Greg Harton and the investigative reporters at the Northwest Arkansas Times will be all over these stories in a few days. It must be tough to get scooped every week by the Stephens Media tabloid shopper.

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