Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dallas Convention Center Hotel Opponents start petition drive

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The group, calling itself Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel, argued that the hotel, with a price tag of up to $500 million, is an overly secretive project that would be undertaken at the expense of basic city services, such as road repair and recreational amenities -- an assessment with which top city officials vehemently disagreed.

“This is a wake-up call for City Hall,” said referendum supporter Anne Raymond, managing director of Crow Holdings, a Dallas company that owns one of the city’s largest hotels, the Hilton Anatole.

“The taxpayers of the city of Dallas deserve to learn the risks of making this decision.”

Citizens Against the Taxpayer-Owned Hotel is composed of representatives from four area hotels or hotel companies. Ms. Raymond predicted that individual Dallas residents will quickly join the effort.

The group needs to collect 20,000 signatures from registered Dallas voter within 60 days to force a referendum, Dallas Assistant City Secretary Rosa Rios said.