Not Cease from Exploration

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Extortion?

Interesting article in today's Scranton Times (link HERE).

For the record, I absolutely do believe that the University of Scranton does need to provide more direct compensation to the City of Scranton for the services that it consumes and to provide for some kind of in-lieu of property tax payment. However, connecting that compensation to the approval of a building permit seems shady at best, down-right sleazy at worst. "Quid pro quo" is being kind, as this looks more like extortion to me. To the University's credit, they apparently have decided not to "play" and are scaling back their plans.

Supporters of Mrs Evans will claim that this is more "Pro-Doherty" bashing, and that's to be expected. However this is a self-inflicted wound on Mrs Evans part. You simply can't link to completely different issues together to come with "if then" statements, especially when large sums of money are involved. It's simply wrong. It's also simply the kind of thing she is famous for accusing Mayor Doherty of doing.

What's next, will Mrs Evans send "Johnny Two Fingers" and "Guido the Sausage Maker" over to Father Pilarz to make him an offer he can't refuse?

Anyway, here is a common sense alternative: The City and the University administration should both determine a dollar value for the direct services (police, fire, etc.) provided and a figure in lieu of property taxes. Both sides should then sit down and negotiate a fair payment based on their interpretation of the facts. No more sleazy extortion, no more blustering in the paper, no more stalling on the part of the University.

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