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City releases ballpark finance report

hall. city council last night released to us a report detailing why the city waited so long to issue the ballpark bonds… a delay that cost taxpayers 22 million dollars. abc-7’s maria garcia is breaking new details: maria? the report confirms what we were able to piece together from an open records request. we’re going to go through a very important timeline here, so stay with me. the city was ready to issue the bonds as soon as april 30th – because that’s when it finished a mandatory public notice period. and the city was going to approve the issuance on that day! but former city manager joyce wilson removed the item from this day’s meeting because of the pending election. keywall: april and may that bring us to may. the election happens may 11th. then the city council doesn’t approve the issuance of the bonds until may 28th. about four weeks later than it could have! and we’re going to show you why these four weeks were critical. keywall: april, may, june let’s go to june. these first two weeks, the city faced several other obstacles including the contractor needing more money and mountainstar increasing it’s share by 11 million. that means the city didn’t go to market until june 18th and the very next day – interest rates spiked up dramatically – and things just got worse after that – leaving the city with a 22 million dollar loss. but here’s the thing: if the city would have acted right after this – in april – instead of stalling these four weeks. it could have avoided a terrible market in june and gotten a good deal for taxpayers. and the report that reveals all this was ordered by mayor oscar leeser: it kind of spurred my mind. i want to ask more questions i want to see what happened. and why we did what we did and that’s why i asked ms wilson and i said i want you to give me a report and she was very honest and gave us a reprot and a timeline.” keywall: wilson report so who’s decision was it to delay? both the report and wilson say there were certain council members who told her they were concerned about approving the bonds right around election time. so the report says wilson relayed this message to former mayor john cook and mayor pro tem ann lilly – and they gave her the green light to delay. but both cook and lilly deny ever approving that. and wilson says she doesn’t remember who these council members were who brought up the idea in the first place. the report doesnt’ identify them either. maria, and wilson was warned it’d be risky to delay, right/ yes, the city’s financial advisors warned her but the report says wilson was more concerned with immediate cash flow and didn’t think it’d be harmful to wait a month. but we now know she was wrong. new information about a deadly crash on i-10 yesterday

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