With budget shortfalls throughout Mahoning County, it is ridiculous that the county commissioners think it makes good economic sense to purchase the Oakhill Rennaisance Place. Among other things, they argue ample parking and an on-site day care for employees’ children makes it a much more attractive place than their former location at Garland Plaza on the east side.
And with that said, the other side of the Oakhill trial presents a grubby picture. The Cafaros, their former landlords at Garland, have filed the so-called “taxpayers lawsuit” against the county. As one internet poster on vindy.com pointed out, the only damage done will be “to the Cafaro’s wallets”. The trial is ugly hypocrisy: Cafaro lawyers say commissioners Ludt and Traficanti didn’t do their homework and that the Oakhill purchase is a bad move for the county. I believe that’s right, but the sad part is the “taxpayers”, in all reality, just want their business back again.
On today’s testimony, former county auditor John Reardon questioned where the money was coming from. This is just swell, because if the money pulls the county into debt, they’ll ask to put more taxes on the ballot, but if it isn’t, well what else could’ve it gone to? Some county departments aren’t fully staffed, some could use upgrades.
I’m not getting too involved in this trial. I believe it is wasteful spending on the county’s part, but I’d be much more supportive of the plantiff’s case if they weren’t the same people who are looking to re-gain their business.