A Branson tale, Bobblin Hood and his merry men

It was a horrible dream the Ole Seagull was having. Bobblin Hood and his merry band were running the Branson City government. It was kind of surreal because the merry band and their leader, Bobblin Hood, were at a meeting that, if were not a dream, could have been mistaken for a Branson Board of Aldermen meeting.

They were talking about some Ole Seagull who had sat on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission with them. They were not pleased that he had not only voted against the TIF but had gone back to the Taney County Commission that he represented and recommended, in an open and public meeting, that they consider filing a lawsuit against Bobblin Hood and his merry men.

Friar Tuck, one of the merry men, reminded the merry band that the Ole Seagull said that he voted against it because he did not believe that the land covered by the TIF was blighted, that the expenditure of about $49 million in taxpayer funds to “big box” stores that would be locating within the county anyway made sense, or that the ratio of taxpayer funds reimbursed to the developer, as compared to the developers cost, was appropriate.

At that time Maid Marion spoke up and asked, “Didn’t he also say that he believed that there is something inherently wrong with the City of Branson using taxpayer funds, and the future tax revenues of other taxing entities, without their approval, to constantly feed its own economic growth at the expense of its neighbors and the orderly and efficient development elsewhere in the county? Then, to everyone’s surprise, Friar Tuck said, “He just might have a point, if the City of Branson wants to obligate its own future tax revenues that’s one thing, but when it does so at the expense of other taxing entities, without their consent, that is something else.”

Bobblin Hood came out of his seat incensed and pointed out that the City didn’t even have enough money to make sure that the access to the city’s only emergency room was maintained as they built their new $400 million dollar plus project in down town Branson. He asked, “How else are we going to get enough money to keep neighboring communities, and the county itself, from developing and having economic independence from the City of Branson if we don’t confiscate the county’s future tax revenues and use them for our own benefit?

Little Jon, who in stature is not little at all, got all red faced as he agreed and said, “If we don’t do this those businesses will go to Hollister and we can’t have that.” With Bobblin Hood bobbing his head in agreement, Little Jon went on to point out that if that happened there was the potential that revenue, businesses, and opportunities for economic growth might trickle down to other areas of Taney County besides Branson. He then asked, “If that happened, Branson would no longer be able to tell everyone else in the county how dependent they were on Branson?”

Bobblin Hood chimed in and asked, “Besides, how could the county and the rest of the area govern itself without the omnipotent overseeing of this merry band and, of course, its very humble leader? What would the masses do without us? It’s for their own good that we must confiscate their future tax revenues.”

Friar Tuck asked Bobblin Hood, “But doesn’t the City of Hollister, Taney County, the Branson School Board, and other taxing entities have leadership that is capable to deciding what is best for them and how to manage their own businesses and finances?” Unfortunately, at that time, with one final snore the Ole Seagull woke up. Wow, thank God it was but a dream

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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