Debunk the LIES & Propaganda -
The City was NOT forced into settlement negotiations. That was a CHOICE by Mayor Bodker.
What was included in the agreement was negotiated by Mayor Bodker and Councilwoman Cori Davenport, who is a close friend of the billboard executive.
The billboard companies are SHREWD businessmen.
Do you believe the billboard company AGREED to fewer Billboards?
The billboard companies wanted a better deal, and Mayor & Cori gave it to them. NEW Locations, LEDs, relaxed regulations, liberal tree removal & more!
The information on the City website is not even correct. The City creates propaganda like that letter to make it look like a good deal.
It ain’t, and that is why the residents are revolting.
Johns Creek settlement allowed for aggressive tree removal. Milton did not. Also, Milton got 25% (4 signs), Johns Creek got 36% (10 signs).
Milton got 3 smaller signs 10'x36'. JC got nine 14'x48'.
Had Cori’s friends gave us a better deal like Milton, JC would have no more than 6 signs total and smaller signs to boot.
Had the City NOT agreed to the terms of the settlement, the City would have a few static signs.
Static signs are Dinosaurs and not worth the cost to put them up in most cases and make less money than the LEDs.
One advertiser for the month vs. a plethora of ads rotating every 10 seconds.
The static billboard couldn’t generate the revenue needed to pay out Action Outdoor, the original permit holders, landowners, and then Clear Channel along with any investors on top of construction and equipment costs.
The Mayor Decided for us, it was not worth the cost to buy out the original billboard permits.
That decision should have been left to the Voters as a bond referendum. Residents recently voted for tax increases to improve the quality of life (parks & Tsplost).
Buying out the billboard permits would have equated to the Louisiana Purchase and an investment in our City’s aesthetics as well as property values for years to come.
Mayor Bodker & Councilwoman Davenport exhibited poor judgment in negotiating the settlements, and thus the terms included in it.
Enough of the LIES to explain the bad behavior and poor judgment.
What are your thoughts on the Debunk the LIES & Propaganda?
You are being to generous to the Mayor and staff with these numbers.
Take away the duplicate locations and we actually got 56%.
I thought we became a city to be different.
Now we are just like the other cities with corrupt officials, billboards traffic and crappy overdevelopment.
How sad when you look back at what we could and should have become.
Is there any kind of documentation to back this up?
This post debunks the following...
Here is the City Council's statement
Here is the FAQ
No, documentation supporting the "debunking" assertions.
How is it known that we would have fewer static signs without the negotiations? How is it known the city didn't have to negotiate? How is it known that a deal like Milton's (much more rural still) was an option? Is it known how much a buyout would have cost?
To advertise on a static sign costs $3-4k per month. LED, $4-5k per month for 1 of 8 rotations per month.
Static signs do not generate the revenue needed to pay out all the cooks in the kitchen.
Read the Supreme Court Order here
Do you see the COJC "Forced into settlement negotiations"?
Please focus on pages 10, 11 & 12.
The Judges were instructing the Cities in how to deal with the billboards. Go back to the original applications at the time they were filed, the rules regulations and laws and go from there.
If we had such great negotiators, why weren't the terms similar to Milton's or better?
Finally, ask yourself why would the billboard companies leave viable billboards locations on the negotiating floor? If they could have had genuinely 27 LED billboards, why bother negotiating at all? And wait 5 years to erect them? Explain that please?
I'm not saying the counter-arguments are wrong, so there is nothing for me to explain.
I am asking for details because the debunking is all speculation, so I'm curious about what there is to back that up.
Besides trying to get Bodker out of office, how is any of this productive going forward? How does looking back like this solve the problem of the billboards that are here? In my opinion, that's where energies should be focused.
What you should be asking for is the documentation showing that the City calculated the "value" of the billboards. They certainly know how to do this. There are plenty of "accountants" at City Hall who know what the current value of an income stream is today.
Anyone who has been to court in a case where the two parties had assets to divide understands that the first thing you do is try to come to an agreement or consensus.
The court is there to make those decisions for you if you are not able to. I want to see the documentation that suggests the court would have given the billboard companies everything they wanted including the removal of previous conditions of zoning.
Whether or not we were a new city or an old city, we were paying salaries for "experienced lawyers and city staff.
Most of us are asking if we got what we have been paying for?
My vote in the fall will send a message that I do not think we have. And I hope you join me in doing so.
By the way, if these billboard "rights" are so valuable, has our Tax Commissioner raised the value of these properties to reflect this value? It certainly needs to.
I know there are tax benefits that the property owners and operators receive from the State of Georgia - at least according to the letter from Bob Gray. So, I wonder if the tax assessment is part of that. Maybe there is some sort of exemption.
Dealing with the loopholes that make signs less expensive to erect and operate, giving them an advantage of other kinds of "commerce" or property or signage, is a way to move forward and hopefully resolve this issue. Looking back and harping on what has already happened will not fix this.
Would you know what the City is negotiating on your behalf today when they go into Executive Session?
If not, then you, like us, have every right to examine what has transpired to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.
We have every right to analyse and criticize what our officials do as our representatives.
Or, we can sweep it under the rug, and have it occur with another issue at some point in our present or near future.
No one I speak to is ready to pick up a broom just yet, outside of elected officials.
It is up to us to make our expectations clear. And we are doing just that by examining this issue from a variety of perspectives, including the loopholes that you mention, which would never be addressed had we started looking at this issue in the first place.
Let me ask you this, would you rather have had us put up the 81 Billboards that the court ordered Fulton County to honor, or would you like the 20 locations that we ultimately put up? Johns Creek and the other cities negotiated down the number of physical structures, but allowed us to put up digital boards instead.