Thank goodness Charlottesville has two weeklies who consistently produce 5,000+ word investigative reports.* Will Goldsmith at C-Ville reports: (bolding mine)
But the Biscuit Run acquisition process, from start to finish, was a hasty affair that involved no public input and a network of businessmen and politicians with close ties. No one who negotiated the deal could control how much taxpayers paidâ€”the decision is left to a few unelected bureaucrats in the state tax department. It very well could have bailed out businessmen who had made an ill-timed real estate investment at the height of the bubble.
As far as I can tell, the story of Biscuit Run isn’t a story of illegal corruption. It is about something far more prosaic, and possibly more disturbingâ€”how influential people align their interests and justify their actions by saying they did it for you and me.
*It’s not a matter of “print” being dead, but of “journalism” succeeding.
Update 27 October 2010: I didn’t realize how prescient I was when I wrote about Charlottesville’s two weeklies. Courteney Stuart at The HooK writes today:
It seems like a simple question: How much will taxpayers pay to make Biscuit Run a Virginia park?
Nearly a year after the state’s under-the-wire purchase of the 1,200-acre tract that had been slated to become Albemarle’s biggest subdivision, the would-be developers and state officials appear to have successfully deflected inquiries about the value of tax credits that made the deal possibleâ€” even as the Virginia state senator who penned the legislation establishing such tax credits now calls the secrecy â€œdisturbing.â€