The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 28, 2013

Letter: Change to ‘City Hall Landlord’s Association’

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — I think they should rename the city commission to “City Hall Landlord’s Association.”

A couple of years ago, city hall felt compelled to buy the old Homeland grocery location out by Arby’s restaurant. The price paid was $1.75 million of taxpayers’ dollars. They said they had a buyer and the empty building was ugly. Well, the building still looks ugly, kind of like the old Walmart location and some other empty buildings around town.

City hall, of course, has been leveling South Grand of many buildings, mostly ongoing businesses that were forced to relocate or just go out of business. For whatever reason, they bought and leased Cafe’ Garcia for five years, along with another option.

Apparently, Mr. Benson has convinced the commission members the food there is the best north of the border and must be preserved at all costs for at least the next 10 years.

Now city hall is spending $282,332 of taxpayers’ money for sewer moving and parking location for Cafe’ Garcia. Pastimes restaurant closed months ago because of parking issues and the traffic from the construction. It’s really too bad no courtesies were extended to all the other businesses that were destroyed or were pushed aside by this project called Renaissance.

I have eaten at Cafe’ Garcia many times, but I won’t be back (and it’s not because of the quality of the food). I am afraid I will get indigestion now, knowing the cost for the privilege of eating there. Maybe you can say “buenos dias” to Mr. Benson for me if you visit the restaurant. He must be a regular.

If city hall is willing to spend taxpayers dollars on such frivolous ventures, then we as citizens need to be very careful before giving them more money in the future. They don’t belong in the real estate development business.

Ken Fischer