Playing poker, that’s what ol’ Project Jackson comes down to. Good poker players will tell you to look for the “tell” in the other player. If you can figure out what’s in their hand, because of their body language, or speech or chip handling, you can “tell” when they’re bluffing or really have the full house.

In the case of the city of North Augusta, they want baseball so bad they can taste it. I am sure the leaders go to bed at night with visions of box seats, T-shirt guns and dancing mascots in their heads. They need conference space and a hotel because of the “overbooked” Marriott Hotel and TEE center in Augusta. Hmmmm.

That “tells” you they are going to bring this in no matter where they get the money from. For now, the low-hanging fruit for funding is Aiken County school and county tax dollars. If they can get them “in,” then they don’t have to ask the North Augusta voters to approve a tax increase, or cut the stadium to a paltry $24M. They don’t have to test their scheme at the greatest leveler of all, the ballot box.

To replace the school money, the city would need a 9 mill tax levy. If you own a house worth $100,000, it would add $36 to your annual tax bill – $3 per month.

If the baseball supporters have a great case, take it to the ballot box – don’t distort the letter or intent of the tax increment financing law. Note to schools: Step aside before the bulldozers hit you.

It’s nice to see the city finally admits they have an existing development agreement – but what was once touted as great use of the riverfront is now poo-pooed as weak, and not guaranteed?

Really? Wow, that must be some Kool-Aid.

Steve Donohue

President, River Club Homeowners Association