The Capital today has an article about the grand opening of the Mt. Olive A.M.E. church community center, entitled "An Example of Working Together". How sweet. Sadly, I fear that 'working' might not be the proper term for the arrangement.
The article says that the developer of Parole Town Center pledged $2 million to the church to get the project going. I thought to myself "self, developers are shrewd people. The left sides of their brains are Intel processors, and their bones are made out of recycled granite counter tops. Why would a developer give that kind of dinero to a church?"
Next, I went to the grocery store. But after that, I though to myself "self, what about this Mt. Olive Church? Does it have anything to do with politics?" Yes!! If I've learned anything from this blogging racket, it's that Mt. Olive is the unofficial church of Ward 3, and Ward 3 Alderman Classie Hoyle.
The best I can figure, there is a love triangle out in parole that involves the Parole Center, Mt. Olive Church, and the Honorable Alderman Hoyle. Here are some of the facts:
1. Mt. Olive becomes the unofficial church of Alderman Hoyle. I don't know exactly how this happened, but Alderman Hoyle is the chairman of the Mt. Olive Community Development Corporation, and the church's reverend (Johnny Calhoun) did give a modest donation to the Hoyle campaign for county council.
2. The Parole Town Center Development is in the planning phases, and seeks the blessing of the Ward 3 Alderman, even though it is outside of city limits. A business named "Parole Service Inc" gives $500 to the Hoyle campaign, presumably with an expectation that the development will go forward and that businesses' value will be propped up. The development corporation ponies up $1000 for good measure.
3. Alderman Hoyle begins a persistent string of political favors on behalf of Mt. Olive. First, she moved to change the Moderately Priced Development Unit (MPDU) Program to allow non-profits to buy the properties--rumor has it that she wanted Mt. Olive to be a landlord for these dwellings. Next, Hoyle introduced and passed R-14-08, making a certain area of Parole (including Mt. Olive!) a "designated area". As "luck" would have it, designated areas can receive funding from the state, but first need the blessing of the municipality. So, in due course, Hoyle introduced and passed R-15-08, which gives such a blessing. None of the other businesses in the designated area received a similar resolution.
The whole mess smells fishy, but there are questions that still remain. Why is Alderman Hoyle so loyal to Mt. Olive? And why do the Parole developers feel the need to donate to the Hoyle campaign and give such a big pledge to her pet church?