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WASHINGTON Political experts take a closer look at Bush's link to chief of Enron



Published: Sun, January 13, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



1. Is the CIC living up to its mission of a public-private partnership?Yes. Fifteen members of its 25-member board are from the private sector. [They] have consistently and altruistically made vast contributions of time over the last 13 years. The private sector has also contributed buildings and made substantial contributions to parking lots over the years.

2. Does the CIC have the ability to raise private sector funds?Yes. It currently receives rental revenue from individual tenants in parking lots and buildings.3. Why pay rent when there is free space available in the Wick building?No rent was being paid for the office space at the Commerce building. The amount being charged was for utilities and janitorial services. Moreover, space in CIC's own building [George V. Voinovich Government Center] has been constructed and furnished with no contribution from the city. Cost of utilities and janitorial services will continue. The cost ... would have been applied whether CIC occupied space in the Commerce building, the Wick building or its own building.4. Has a discussion taken place to work on bringing Mahoning County Jobs and Family Services back to downtown?At least one discussion has taken place.5. What is the status of the Children Services new building?The parties have met several times and will soon begin negotiations over financing options and lease terms.6. Has the 7th District Court of Appeals or other potential tenant been approached regarding the city hall annex?The 7th District Court of Appeals has not only been approached ... but over the last three years spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars, CIC has worked out a plan including the court, the Mahoning-Columbiana Training Association and Mahoning County. Said plan to do a major renovation ... was agreed to amongst the above parties in May. The city's approval of this plan was requested at this time. It was suggested at council that the city seek private developer interest. No private developer was found who could match or beat the cost of the CIC plan. Since that time the county has decided to end its involvement. In keeping with CIC's downtown mission, this was an attempt to save from demolition and renovate a historically significant structure owned by the city.7. Is there a plan for the Master's Tuxedo block?To place the new Children Services building in that location.8. What is the status of the proposal for Home Savings and Loan Co. and the lot between its building and the Youngstown Business Incubator?There is no proposal. Discussions ... began in 1994 and ended later that same year. CIC attempted to revive those discussions in 1998 and 1999, but there has been no interest.9. Have performance-based contracts been considered with the chamber of commerce as opposed to a flat monthly contract?There is a performance-based component in the current contract.10. Has a method to reduce legal and property management fees been devised?

A request was made of the city ... law director to provide legal services. The law director explained that CIC's legal work is highly specialized and that the law department was understaffed and unable to perform legal services for CIC. As to property management fees, the bid specifications are being drafted and will be advertised soon.11. Have lease agreements been reassessed to make them more flexible for potential tenants?Lease agreements are continually reassessed. The first 12 months is rent free and the rental payments for a five-year period (which demonstrates stability) are usually under $100 a month. Purchase prices are at one-tenth of the county auditor's appraised value. Makes for a very flexible and affordable situation. If a business can't succeed with those terms, it is doubtful that it will make it, period.12. What is the time frame for parking lot leases to be returned to the city of Youngstown?The question assumes that revenue is to be returned to the city. Money generated from CIC is used for CIC operations and was never intended to be sent to the city. The original intent was to reduce CIC's dependence upon the city for financial support.13. Is the subsidy of the CIC by the city of Youngstown reduced by the amount of revenue generated?The question assumes there is an ongoing subsidy. That is not true. There was a grant from the city to CIC in 1994 of $2.5 million. The city has taken back $313,000, without CIC approval, that the city used for its own purposes. Any funds that have been transferred since that time from the city to CIC are pursuant to city contractual obligations. It should be emphasized that the greatest part of CIC's daily operational costs is offset by rental revenue from CIC properties.




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