This is a post from Michael Mills on Facebook to our page. I am pretty confident he won't mind me placing it here as well.
"I'm originally from Wenatchee Wa. i grew up there and lived there for 47 years. i owned and managed three local businesses and one in Okanogan Wa before moving to Payson Az.
In 2005 a company called Global Entertainment approached the city leaders to do a public/private partnership to bring minor league Hockey to Wenatchee Wa, the event center was built in 2008. The city would have to build them a hockey venue to hold some 5000 fans at a cost of 52.8 million dollars. They sold the idea explaining it would revenue neutral to the citizens as the hockey as well as concerts ,home show, sponsorship and donations ect... would pay the bill.
in the end 6 cities signed on to do the public/private partnership. As a local business owner i was all for the deal as i was thinking of all the dollars and increased foot traffic it would bring to the city. in my mind there was no way it could go bad.I was a staunch supporter and had little time for anyone who was against the idea.
Now its 2018 and here i am in Payson AZ and I believe I'm having deja vu. I would beg anyone who thinks public/private deals are revenue neutral to taxpayers to dig deep and research Wenatchee's deal beginning to end.
This is what Wikipedia has to say about the default and subsequent Sec fines and eventual State of Washington involvement to help solve the fiasco caused by slick salesman and naive Mayor and local councilman. I believe the debt should be paid by 2042 ..........by local taxpayers.
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In 2006, nine local cities and counties formed a municipal corporation then called the Greater Wenatchee Regional Events Center Public Facilities District to fund the Town Toyota Center. The arena went into default on December 1, 2011 when the PFD missed a payment on short term bond anticipation notes. The district was later fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors. It was the first time that the SEC assessed a financial penalty against a municipal issuer. The district settled with the SEC for $20,000. In 2012, legislation was passed and signed by Governor Gregoire to authorized a local sales tax increase to refinance the debt. The default was the largest public default in Washington State since the WPPSS disaster of 1982 that defaulted on $2.25 billion in bonds. In the fine the SEC also named the developer Global Entertainment and its then-president and CEO Richard Kozuback, the bankers, and a staff finance manager
Financial Statements Audit Report:http://portal.sao.wa.gov/ReportSearch/Home/ViewReportFile?isFinding=false&arn=1019755https://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/02/washington_house_to_decide_whe.htmlhttps://www.juniorhockey.com/news/news_detail.php?news_id=79014https://arenadigest.com/201111023332/in-the-arena/miscellaneous/wenatchee-asking-state-for-42m-in-arena-bailouthttps://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/sports/a-companys-small-town-arenas-leave-cities-with-big-problems.html
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Thank you Michael!