December 17, 2012
I went to a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting recently at City Hall and about 50 members of the public were present prepared to discuss and protest the Heritage Trails redevelopment proposal put forth by Robert Lipscomb. He failed to show up. You ask yourself, who is Robert Lipscomb? Good question.
Robert Lipscomb is currently!
- Director of Housing and Community Development
- Executive Director of Memphis Housing Authority
- City of Memphis Chief Financial Officer
- SuperCzar able to lease tall buildings in a single bond, more powerful than a mayor or city council, faster than a protest group of citizens.
He is responsible for various local housing developments and is currently trying to designate most of downtown Memphis as a slum so that he can get control of downtown tax receipts for many future years. It is time that the local Mayors, the City Council, the County Commission and the tax paying citizens of Memphis take back control from Mr. Lipscomb and get a more balanced approach to local development plans. No one local bureaucrat should have such a large influence. Mr. Lipscomb is very smart and knows how to work the local and federal systems.
I have contacted the State of Tennessee concerning TIFs and TDZs (Tax incremental Financing and Tourist Development Zones) and they seem to know less about what is going on than the general public. The real question is how are these proposed developments financed and what is the risk to the taxpayers if these developments fail.
Another question that taxpayers should ask is about subsidized housing and its cost. That is an area that I will write about in the future.