The city's $25,000 for an option to buy the land for $4.3 million expires with Richard's term, and the mayor clearly would like to do more than renew the option.
“I think the public will be well served by the city owning it,” he said. Richard's administration came under fire during the recent city elections for refusing to release environmental studies of the property, but the mayor noted that the studies are not yet complete and said they belong to the property's owners, not the city.
I know that Mayor Richard has never had an extremely open administration but if he thinks he can buy that property without releasing the environmental data then he is vastly uninformed and he should be ready to go to court to defend his position. Any document used in the negotiation of that option is a public document and must be available for inspection. Right now he's using a loophole by saying the negotiations are still in progress to get around having to release the study.
But saying the studies aren't complete? Why the hell would the city go through the trouble of putting together a task force and public meetings that met for months on end before the environmental data was in? Of course the answer is the public meetings were a farce - window dressing to give the appearance of community input. Why would the environment study be the last thing done when it clearly should've been one of the first? I'm not sure but it could be a stall tactic while they try and lay the groundwork of excuses and misinformation before buying potentially polluted property.
We've already heard the administration discuss the idea of using state and federal dollars to clean up the property. But let me go on record - any plan to use taxpayer dollars to clean up the land polluted by one of the richest families in Allen County is economically unjust and downright un-American. Any such plan should be a non-starter with city council and the residents of this community. Of course this is exactly the type of elitist proposal I expect to see from the Richard administration...