Our city is considering loans or grants to pandemic-affected businesses. In two words "Please no!" You provide services to residents; you’re not a bank or investor. In the past you've gotten involved with private industry, and in almost all cases its been a mistake. Some examples:
- Buying the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Center for roughly $6 million, then paying to guard it, then paying to tear it down, and now letting it sit as a non-park, barricaded-off property residents can't even hike on. You’re just storing a bit of road salt on it. I'd called one board member to try and convince him not to vote "yes" to buy it, and his response was, laughingly, before he voted yes, that it could potentially "be a winter Olympics' training site"!
- Buying the privately-owed golf course in south Hudson to keep it from being developed. Now we run a city-owned golf course and have to feed it money every year to support it.
- Expanding our skate park with a $200,000-plus additional investment, when only a small percentage of users are from Hudson.
- Helping fund a then-existing local business incubator that was having trouble finding grants and funding, and only had a couple of so-so early stage businesses under roof. Money went in, and money was lost.
- High speed internet but only for businesses costly consultancy study. Ugh again.
There’s more, but I'll stop now. And I hope you’ll stop too, and not make yet another mistake of going well outside your wheelhouse of just providing city services and maintaining our parks.
Don't become a funder of troubled businesses in Hudson. That's what SBA PPP loans and bank loans are for. If banks with expertise won't loan to these businesses then why should you? Please don't throw away more tax money again.
Dennis Matecun, Hudson