TBogg

It Takes An Idiot To Raze A Village Budget

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities” – Candidate Sarah Palin

Increasingly obscure future Jeopardy answer, Sarah Palin, has declared another one of her idiot-jihads, this time on MSNBC because Melissa Harris-Perry (who went to four less colleges than Sarah Palin and yet somehow ended up with a Ph.D. to match Sarah’s college GED) said on MSNBCommunist:

…that the U.S. should invest more in public education. “We have never invested as much in public education as we should have because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children … We haven’t had a very collective notion of ‘these are our children,'” she says in the ad. “So part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that ‘kids belong to their parents,’ or ‘kids belong to their families,’ and recognize that kids belong to whole communities.”

So: FEMA camp, but with crayons and naps. And Marx.

Sarah Palin responded the way you would expect Sarah Palin to respond:

  • Folksy? Check.
  • Ostentatious religiosity? Check.
  • Gunz and death dealing like the Lord intended? Check.
  • Boasting of  gas-guzzlin’ penis substitute/man-toy. Yeah, that’d be a big ol’ check too,  good buddy.

All of that packed into a 140-character red meat stew for her move-their-lips-when-reading-her-twittertwats followers. As the Breitbart people would say: Epic. But then they’re dumbasses….

Now, to be fair to Sarah Palin (because there is a first time for everything) she does have some experience in this whole “do it for the kids” thing, although her attempt was not education-based because: school, yuck, good gawd yall, what is it good for?

Obviously nothing.

No,  Sarah Palin, Lipsticky-Pitbully Hockey Mom Mayor of Wasilla in the heart of the Mat-Su Valley, [meth capital of Alaska], decided that what the the kids of Wasilla really needed was a big ol’ expensive ice-rink because:

So how’d that “community involvement for the good of the kids thing” work out for ya, Sarah?

According to the Wall Street Journal, about as good as anything Sarah Palin has ever touched could possibly turn out:

The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin’s legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

[…]

Hockey is much loved in Wasilla, and Ms. Palin, whose son was a star player, wanted to build an indoor rink, with a track, basketball courts and soccer field. In the late 1990s, the city sought a 145-acre parcel owned by the Nature Conservancy, which wanted to sell the land to buy more environmentally sensitive property elsewhere. City officials negotiated a price of $126,000. Months passed without the city’s securing a signed purchase agreement, according to the city’s attorney, Tom Klinkner of Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot.

At the same time, Gary Lundgren, a Fairbanks real-estate investor, was in talks with the Nature Conservancy to buy a larger adjacent property. As discussions between the environmental group and the city dragged on, Mr. Lundgren said, he purchased the entire site for about $1 million.

The city sued Mr. Lundgren and the Nature Conservancy, arguing that Wasilla had had a deal. In 2001, a federal district court judge ruled in Wasilla’s favor. Mr. Lundgren appealed, but the city believed it would prevail, according to Mr. Klinkner.

Ms. Palin marched ahead, making the public case for a sales-tax increase and $14.7 million bond issue to pay for the sports center, which was to feature a running track, basketball courts and a hockey rink. At the time, the city’s annual budget was about $20 million. In a March 2002 referendum, residents approved the mayor’s plan by a 20-vote margin, 306 to 286. The city cleared roads, installed utilities and made preparations to build.

Later that year, Ms. Palin’s final one as mayor, the federal judge reversed his own decision and ruled that the property rightfully belonged to Mr. Lundgren. Wasilla had never signed the proper papers, the court ruled.

Whoopsie.

Last year, the arbitrator ordered the city to pay $836,378 for the 80-acre parcel, far more than the $126,000 Wasilla originally thought it would pay for a piece of land 65 acres larger. The arbitrator also determined that the city owed Mr. Lundgren $336,000 in interest. Wasilla’s legal bill since the eminent domain action has come to roughly $250,000 so far, according to Mr. Klinkner, the city attorney.

Mr. Lundgren has appealed the decision, arguing that the arbitrator should have awarded him more interest. “It has been 10 years; it’s just insane,” said Mr. Lundgren, who now lives in Panama. “All [Ms. Palin] had to do was close the transaction.”

The McCain-Palin campaign referred questions about the sports complex to Mr. Leonard, the former city finance chief. He blamed the Nature Conservancy for dealing with two different potential buyers at one time. “That’s what caused the confusion,” he said.

Say what you will about Sarah Palin, but she  does have a way of making other people’s money disappear, including paying for her family’s summer vacation.

Charity and doin’ it for the kids begins at home, doncha’ know..

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