“Mayor & Board approval not needed for hotel deal”

“The (selection) committee didn’t need the board’s approval to move forward, Griffin said, but it wanted to tell the board its choice before starting negotiations, which will take months.” (Fred News Post Sept 4, 2014) In fact the selection committee DID need to get Mayor & Board approval for its recommendation. Page 8 of the RFP states that the downtown advisory committee “will serve solely as the recommending body to the City.” So the City via the Mayor & Board of Aldermen was the decisionmaker. Even without that no bunch of mayor-appointed people could commit the City legally.

This report has some interesting comments by Alderman Kuzemchak with the hotel boosters into “myth busting” mode:

“Earl H. Robbins Jr., the committee’s chairman, said he wanted to correct a few myths.

City taxpayers will not get stuck with the bill for the project, the city is not building and operating the hotel, the size of the project is not too large, the hotel will not cause parking and traffic problems for surrounding neighborhoods, and the site’s historic integrity will not be compromised, he said.

“Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak said she took issue with some of Robbins’ points.

“Although the city will not pay for the project with residents’ taxes, state grants will pay for portions of the project cost, she said. Also, the hotel will cause parking and traffic issues in the area, and the project will change the area’s historic character, she said.

“Let’s not pretend that things are not happening when they really are,” she said.


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