Friday, September 10, 2010

MOHAI threatens to close if mayor wants to renegotiate deal on new space | Seattle Times Newspaper

Just so we are clear, the money MOHAI is getting is NOT coming from the City of Seattle's general fund. It is coming from the Department of Transportation because they are being forced to relocate out of the way of the new State Route 520 bridge.

The mayor is reaching into a non-profit to take money. It isn't denying city funds it doesn't have.
He is making a mistake.

"Now is not the time for one nonprofit, no matter how worthy it is, to get everything it can out of the city," McGinn said.

Last fall, the City Council agreed to let MOHAI negotiate with the state Department of Transportation to reimburse it for the value of the museum's buildings and surrounding city parkland. At the time, the council assumed MOHAI would get about $15 million for the buildings, plus about $7 million in rent for the land.

But the state decided to buy the city property instead of renting it, so the city then agreed it would make up the difference to MOHAI — up to $7 million. The city's acting parks director signed an agreement with the museum.

The museum later announced that its negotiations were so successful that it got $40 million from the state — more than twice what the city assumed when it had agreed to chip in the $7 million.

Now McGinn wants to back out of the deal, which he says is not legally binding without a council vote.

Local News | MOHAI threatens to close if mayor wants to renegotiate deal on new space | Seattle Times Newspaper


Peter said...

still no response from drago. here's a little thought: you said if the county was planning something like going to the state for user fees, we wouldnt hear about it til after the election. do you think if something sensitive is in the works that the county dosen't want getting out jan will delay getting back to me or maybe not get back to me at all? I go back to when i wrote baarsma, the tacoma mayor at the time, about what the city of tacoma was gonna do with cheney stadium. he never got back to me, but like clockwork, after the tacoma election last year they announced the renovation plans for cheney stadium.

Mr Baker said...

No politician will want to have public discussions about spending tax money before an election, even if that tax money comes from sports fans parking at basketball game.

That is only half of the equation, Ballmer will have to show some public interest. I would not expect anything like that until the NBA season starts in late October/early November.