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06/30/2013

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Though no less offensive, it would be cheaper to rename Martin Luther King Jr Drive **Hollywood Drive** if Greensboro so needs a touch of Hollywood.

Yes! Stars included.

Let's see if 5 people show up to make a quorum because if only 4 then no vote by council , must be nice to have this special treatment during a holiday week. Needed money ASAP to make payroll but looks like the lean on house is a complete mess.

Does anyone know how and why these folks had access to angle for this type of financing with the city?

This is such a stupid, illogical matter for the city to get involved in. What is the real story here with regard to how this happened? And what are they going to represent to the public with regard to the need for this special meeting?

I think we have some answers, apparently from the city manager:

"We want to ensure prior to providing funding for BNT that Council is agreeable to the terms of the funding. This clarification is necessary as information we have been provided by the Woods’ attorney differ some from that which is outlined in the resolution approved by Council. I believe it is important that this contract is executed in agreement with what Council intended.

"...in order to see through Council’s direction, a special meeting is necessary as it has an impact on the project. BNT has stated that in order to meet payroll they need the City’s funding by next Tuesday and I need Council direction and approval prior to moving forward."

So apparently the city council is being called into a special session, in part, to help this outfit meet payroll. They apparently would be at risk of not meeting payroll otherwise.

Also, some of the details have apparently "changed".

Welcome back, Joe!

Hopefully you can help fill a void caused by the loss of The Rhino and Johnny Hammer.

As to the post- I'm sure you know I voted against this in it's original form with Greensboro being a second lien holder on a private home. We're now being told our collateral is going to be third lien holder. I asked the folks seeking the loan if they had $466K in equity in their home why didn't they get the money from their bank and he went into some story about an airplane taking off. That video is on my facebook page.

I do not like the appearance of calling a special meeting two days before a holiday for this and I have expressed that opinion with the city manager. IMO, it should have been put on the July 16 agenda. I've asked the city manager to video tape this meeting and she has agreed to do so. Council Chambers is under construction. I've also asked to see a copy of the appraisal of the home being used as collateral.

Keep in mind we just cut public safety by about $1M and increased funding to non-profits by $1M while raising water rates $3.3M.

I'll forward you a copy of the recent e-mails we've received on this.

This one is beyond ludicrous.

I need to clarify a comment I just made.

I used the term "we" in relation to the budget descriptions. I should have said "they".

I voted against the budget and the water rate increase but both passed 8-1.

Thanks, Tony.

Just a note of further clarification.

The city was planning to make the loan, and it was to be secured by collateral offered by a Greensboro area couple-- i.e., the equity they have in their home. But now we learn some new information: that this couple has a first mortgage of $280,000 and a home equity line of credit of $300,000. Therefore, the city would potentially be third in line for repayment of any debt with the equity in that home. This is part of what necessitated the special meeting.

And this is for a company that is having trouble meeting its payroll. And we supposedly need to have the special meeting to help them meet their payroll!

Unbelievable.

I worked in Television for over 30 Years. Each year, there is an organization called NAPTE (National Association of Program and Television Executives). They hold an annual convention where programs are pitched to investors, networks, local stations, etc.

The traditional process is to shoot a pilot episode to demonstrate to those who might fund or air the program that the show meets their needs. You need only read the Hollywood Reporter or other media news sites to read about pilot episodes and their success and failure rates. Often a pilot is shot; but not picked up for months. Often the actors in the pilot are not available when the actual show is funded.

Rarely, you have a company with deep pockets that will shoot an entire season of a show, with everyone operating under a Non-Disclosure Agreement. MTV did this with Jersey Shore.

In most cases, new shows will fail. You need only look at the news from last Fall. New shows were introduced and cancelled as soon as the first episode aired.

It is a High Risk Financial Business, it is why show attempt to secure Big Name stars are used to attract that initial audience. From that point, it is up to the writers, actors and producers to keep and hold the audience. However, having an audience does not guarantee success either. That audience number must be high enough to attract advertising agencies to place their products.

The alternative, which has become very popular is self-produce and distribute via the Internet, utilizing services such as YouTube and Vimeo. There are hundreds of people doing that today, with a small number actually making a profit doing so.

Thanks, Don. Combine that with the fact that the group cannot make payroll, and has the city third in line behind two mortgages to get at any equity in the home. Combine it with the fact that the jobs pay below the county median, and the city's vehicle maintenance fund had to be raided.

Does this sound like a winner? Apparently the city council thinks so.

Didn't the city council already approve the release of funds? If so, is withdrawing the "loan" even an option at this point? This ridiculous use of funds sets a even more ridiculous precedent.

Regarding payroll, did anyone on staff or council ask why BMT is suddenly unable to pay their employees? Did anyone ask to look at their business model or track record?

This sounds like a bailout, as opposed to an "economic development" grant. What happens after BMT spends the $300,000? Anyone whose ever run a business knows that money is gone in an instant. Do they come back to council and request more? I mean, if the idea was so good the first time around, why wouldn't council release more funds? The city of Greensboro now has an active stake in this project. How are the producers going to earn any sort of income between now and the next pay date?

This is just crazy. Full city-funding of a downtown PAC makes a whole lot more sense than this mess.

D, the original resolution that passed 7-2 named Greensboro as second lien holder.
The discovery of an unmentioned second lien, moving Greensboro to third lien, made it necessary to come back to council.
Tomorrow's meeting has been cancelled so I am assuming this will be on the July 16 agenda. Along with noise, post RUCO, and the Renaissance Center.

Does this mean they are not going to make payroll? Does this mean their staff disappears?

Do we know if BNT requested funding from private investors before going to the city? That's usually how these things work. Ask for help from those closest to you and then go outside the family circle in no one can or is willing to help out. I don't ever recall reading about Coppola, Lucas, or Spielberg asking for public funds to meet payroll. I don't believe that any of the three received public help to launch their careers either.

It appears that this outfit didn't do their homework before pursuing their "dreams." It's pretty clear that our crack, amazing city staff didn't do their's either, as evidenced by the "unmentioned second lien."

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