Thursday, August 02, 2007

Still At Least One Unanswered Question About Harrison Square

Today's News Sentinel has a nice feature piece about Harrison Square critic John Kalb. John has been tireless in his efforts to derail the project and he's certainly honest about that fact:
“(Kalb's) taken the role of a watchdog, not to protect Harrison Square, but to kill it,” Leatherman said.

That's true. Kalb said his goal is to slow the process to the point it gets killed, to the point Hardball Capital, the Atlanta-based company that owns the Wizards and is contributing $20 million to the project, isn't interested anymore.

I think many of us fought the good fight on Harrison Square and now it's time to move on. However, there is still one remaining issue (I'm sure Mike Sylvester has 58 more) that gnaws at me almost daily. Readers may remember my posts (here and here) detailing how I thought the Redevelopment Commission violated state law by not getting appraisals before buying the property. I was particularly skeptical about the argument from Leatherman and Wernet (Redevelopment Commission attorney) that they didn't need the appraisals because they didn't acquire the property through eminent domain.

I still believe that argument was completely incorrect. I know that the Gang of 3 on the city council recently inquired about this and I was told that the city was no longer putting forth that explanation. What I want to know is - what exactly is their explanation for not getting the appraisals as required by state law? And why were they using the eminent domain argument with the public in the first place? It should also be noted that the local media took the eminent domain argument from the city without ever questioning them about it.

The city may want to sweep this under the rug but they will not succeed in doing so if I have anything to say about it. I'm firing off a series of requests to Leatherman, Wernet and the Gang of 3 to have my final, lingering question answered...

2 comments:

Kody Tinnel said...

Jeff,

Are you going to that Harrison Square event at the Grand Wayne Center tonight?

Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm not going to be able to make it tonight. I'd be interested to hear what transpires though so if you end up going please post about it...