Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LETTER: Public Dollars Should Beget Public Disclosure

"It has been a contention of mine from the start of the Convention Center project that the presence of any public money in that project, that great for everyone public-private partnership, should require full and complete public disclosure. The reality has been the opposite… every chance they can, the private parties say, 'we are private', and therefore not required to provide any disclosure. Meanwhile, there is not a single private entity that owns anything in the project.

"With the publication of the list of donors to the Lancaster Alliance, I was taken aback to find public dollars in the mix. Both Lancaster City and Lancaster County, along with some non-profits that may also receive public funding, for instance Millersville University, are contributing to the Alliance. Remember that the Alliance has played the 'private' card as well in the past keeping its full feasibility/market study by Ernst & Young for the CC private until the 11th hour. That study was always described as 'private' as opposed to say the 'public' PWC study undertaken by the LCCCA.

"Private money can do whatever it wants but as soon as it accepts dollar 1 from the public coffers, it should be forced to open up. Curious as to why I have never heard a single locally elected official make that same demand. It would be very interesting to cross-reference a list of major donors to those elected officials and see how/where their major contributors fall within the membership of the Lancaster Alliance."