Sounds like good news, for now, on the convention center hotel front: Some members of the council appear to be taking a more serious look at what the mayor has been pushing on the taxpayer-subsidized deal, resulting in a miraculous "extension" of the time the city has to purchase the seriously overpriced $42 million tract of land downtown for the hotel.

Remember that the "short fuse" on the original land deal was one of the reasons the mayor wanted to move so quickly on this deal? Now that there has been some whining from the council, the city and the property owner have agreed on an extension of time for the city to close on the land, probably because the seller started worrying that if it didn’t exhibit some flexibility, it might not be able to take the city to the cleaners on this deal. Angela Hunt even pointed out at today’s council meeting that as recently as the last tax assessment period, the seller was telling DCAD the property wasn’t even worth the $7.3 million it’s appraised for.

Anyway, the Observer quotes Sheffie Kadane, Dave Neumann, Ron Natinsky and (of course) Angela Hunt expressing concerns about needing more information. And that’s all that needs to be done today: There could be a great deal buried in the stuff the mayor has been pushing, but who can tell with all of the cloak-and-dagger secrecy? Lay the details out there, let everyone chew on it a bit, and then let the council vote on whether to give away $300-$500 million for the deal.

Like one of our thoughtful Back Talk commenters says, let the politicians do their job, and then we can deal with them based on whether we like their decision or not. And who knows: Maybe we should be biting the bullet on this deal, but it would be nice to actually see the bullet before it’s jammed between our teeth…



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