I know I have not seemed a hundred percent on board with the Lubbock County expo center, and there is a reason for that. I am cautious, but I am not against it. I want to see the expo center done right and without taxpayer money as it was sold to the voters of Lubbock County. So, I want to make my opinion clear because the expo center has become a campaign issue.
First, I feel like the people of Lubbock were lied to from the beginning, and that is why I wanted Lubbock to vote against it. There never seemed to be a good plan for the expo center, just a number. That number was 50 million dollars or so. The cost has gone up some because of Covid, but I do not believe that the people selling it to the Lubbock voters ever thought that they were going to be held to 50 million dollars. The number was probably closer to 85-100 million and with inflation and rising construction costs it has ballooned to 120 plus.
Second, I do not think the project has been transparent. I want to hear more information from the expo center committee on where the project is, and where it is going. How much money do they have, and how much do they need. I was pleased to hear that there is an actual price at this point and an expectation on what it will look like after all three phases. As a taxpayer, we have bought into the expo center, and we want more transparency. I have spoken with the current commissioner’s court, and they have not had transparency either. Hopefully we can lay the cards on the table so that we can work together and make it happen.
Last, we need accountability. If something is going to happen correctly, we need the commissioner’s court to be overseers and to keep both expo center committees accountable. I know it is a process, but in Lubbock right now we have a secret committee with not much accountability.
So, I know it has seemed like I am against the Lubbock County expo center, but I am not. I want the expo center to move forward with honesty, transparency, and accountability. In my opinion, the Lubbock County voters want the same thing.
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