In this April, 2011 email to the Mayor’s Office, Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza invents a new interpretation of the boundaries of the Town Lake Park Community Events Center Venue Project. Throughout the years during which the venue project was created, master planned in an extensive public process, and initially developed, the venue was promoted as including not only Butler Park but all of Auditorium Shores. The Master Plan for the venue made this explicit, as did the 1999 financial plan submitted by Assistant City Manager Jim Smith, both of which were formally adopted by City Council. Twelve years later, Garza insists the venue does not include either Auditorium Shores or the portion of Butler Park west of the former alignment of Dawson Drive. This puts the City afoul of state law regarding venue projects, which allows venue-related revenues (the car rental tax passed by voters to fund the Palmer Events Center and park) to be spent only within the boundaries of the venues. Garza neglects that significant venue funding financed the western portion of Butler Park. He incorrectly asserts that “We have never spent car rental tax for benefit north of Riverside”, neglecting that not only was it built on Auditorium Shores, but it was sized to a capacity to irrigate all of Auditorium Shores in addition to Butler. Moreover, the rental tax-funded Master Plan itself expended significant funds on its Auditorium Shores components.
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