So the Searcy paper reported this morning that Judge Lincoln had the proposed OEM building appraised. I do not read the paper unless I am forced to, so I did not see this story before posting my piece earlier today, which was already scheduled for release.
This development interesting for several reasons:
- The judge has been refusing for weeks to have the property appraised, saying it was unnecessary and too expensive. In fact, a majority of the court voted to proceed with the purchase without an appraisal. So he did it anyway?
- The appraisal was reportedly done by “Appraisers Inc.” of Searcy (more on them in my next post)
- Judge Lincoln also had Stuart Dalrymple of Dalrymple Commercial look over the building. The paper epically fails to report that the property is under contract with Dalrymple Commercial. That’s right. The judge asked the realtor for the property to tell him if this was a fair price.
- The judge says the appraisal was “between $565,000 and $600,000.” Again, I’m no real estate expert, but that is quite a window, and I am not familiar with an appraisal that gives a range like this. This may be common practice, and if it is, I am happy to retract this point, but it seems peculiar to me.
As for Mr. Dalrymple, I feel the need to clarify that I have not met him nor do I have anything against him personally, but I will report the facts regarding his political involvement. I won’t connect all of the dots for you, but I will point them out.
- Mr. Dalrymple was a major donor to the judge’s bypass tax campaign, giving $500 to the committee promoting the tax. (According to this form, he gave a cumulative total of $2,500 to the cause, but I think it is one of many reporting errors by that committee.)
- As I reported last week, Dalrymple is currently serving as Chairman of the “Vote for Roads and Jobs Committee” that is advocating for the passage of a 1% Searcy sales tax on December 13th.
So can anyone tell me why the judge would be so insistent that we purchase this building, now, without a credible appraisal, for nearly double the last selling price?
Or can anyone tell me why Mr. Dalrymple might want to sell this building for $590,000 when it was last sold for $320,000 in 2006, and then make public comments in support of this significant price jump? (HINT: most real-estate brokers make about 6% on their sales: $590,000 x 6% = $34,500)
Don’t shoot the messenger, folks. I hate this as much as you do. But it’s past time we stop pretending like this stuff isn’t going on and start talking about it.