Press Release and Op/Ed from Council Candidate John Jay Myers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
John Jay Myers Calls for Debate with Mayor Leppert
District 7 Candidate Refutes Mayor’s Claims Regarding
Candidate for Dallas City Council John Jay Myers is requesting a town-hall style debate with Mayor Tom Leppert about the proposed 500 million dollar Convention Center Hotel.
“The role of government should be limited to a few key areas.” Says Myers. “Infrastructure, public safety, those are government issues. Building a hotel in lieu of private enterprise is most certainly not the role of government nor what we expect in America.”
Myers claims that the key miscalculation in building the hotel is the idea of a limited economy.
“…you build this hotel, and you take business away from the other hotels downtown, as well as credit availability away from the banks. There’s not a lot of hotel business downtown already, so building one more isn’t going to change that fact. It’s the same thing that killed Reunion Arena; there are only so many events that Reunion and the American Airlines Center can compete for.”
Government does not belong in private enterprise in any way shape or form, says Myers. That is one reason he supports the Citizens for Dallas Right to Vote and Citizens Against the Taxpayer Owned Hotel.
“Dallas’ citizens have the right to choose how their tax dollars are being spent. If we cannot trust our City Council to exercise proper oversight then it’s up to the taxpayers themselves to demand accountability. These two organizations represent one way in which we can keep wasteful government spending under control.”
When asked about a time and place for the proposed debate, Myers chuckled. “Well, I understand the Mayor is a busy man, so if he’ll agree to hold the debate here in District 7 I’ll let him pick the time.”
Dallas City Council elections are scheduled for May 9th.
Responding to The Dallas Convention Center Hotel
by John Jay Myers
A few nights ago I attended the Ferguson Road Initiative meeting where our Mayor, Tom Leppert, spoke. One of the topics covered was whether the City should put taxpayers on the hook for a hotel. Of course I was not invited there to debate, but if I was, this is how it would have went.
Mayor Leppert would explain that during the building of this hotel jobs would be created, and that since revenue bonds would be used to pay for it, there would be no drain on the economy.
I’d respond that actually the money has to come from somewhere (most likely banks) and that banks could have used that money to back other projects. Undoubtedly there are some projects right now (perhaps even projects within District 7) that would benefit from the banks having more money to lend.
Our Mayor would tell us that once the hotel is in operation, it will be a great source of revenue for this city. Countless jobs would be created. People would fly here for conventions. Businesses and culture would spring up around this new source of life.
Only that’s not the case. I would tell our Mayor that the reason people don’t come here for conventions is because we are not a “convention town”. We don’t offer folks what Las Vegas, or Orlando, or San Francisco offer, and that is something to do.
We were sold a convention center saying “if we build it they would come.” We built it, and they did not come. So we were told that we had to expand the convention center, by doing so we would be competitive with other cities. Well, we did that, too, and still they didn’t come. Now we’re being told that the real reason nobody is coming is because we don’t have a hotel at the site.
A hotel at the convention center would only compete with the other hotels in the area, stifle the free market, and cause as many jobs lost as it actually created. Any business the convention hotel gets would be taken from another hotel, for the simple reason that we are not a destination city.
Take The American Airlines Center: yes, business is booming, but at what cost? Other parts of our community are suffering; one tall building with a ball on top comes to mind. Had this been the free market in action, I would say “c’est la vie”, but the fact that the government is behind it, makes me cry foul.
When I hear Mayor Leppert quote Thomas Jefferson I can’t help but cringe slightly. Still, it reminds me of one of my favorite books, The Law by Bastiat. In the book Bastiat, an economist during the 1800s, decrees that Thomas Jefferson’s plan for America was brilliant. The role of government should never be too powerful, he says, and should always be checked when it tries to step beyond its principal role.
The decision to build a $550 million dollar hotel is a far step we have stepped beyond government’s intended role. I think all of us (Jefferson included) can agree that nobody spends money worse and more carelessly than the government.
For that reason I support groups like www.dallasrighttovote.com and www.notaxpayerhotel.com. Together the two groups have collected almost 100,000 signatures of Dallas residents, no small feat indeed. Recently I traveled into some of District 7’s neighborhoods to collect signatures to run for city council. You’d be amazed at how many people can agree with everything you say, yet are still reluctant to sign even a ballot petition. The fact that these two groups could marshal the people and collect so many signatures is a testament to where the people of Dallas stand on this issue.
“Do you realize those groups represent special interest?” I’ve been asked on numerous occasions. Well I do, and I say thank you. Thank you for realizing my interests are special, as are the interests of every other Dallas resident that has signed those petitions. I am glad that these groups exist, because let me tell you, no one man can do this alone. I encourage you to support these groups and learn the real facts about the taxpayer hotel at their websites.
And, of course, I encourage you to support me in building a city council that serves the needs of its constituents.
John Jay Myers
For Dallas City Council 7