Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Encouraging news about Harrison Square

This morning I sent an email to all of the members of City Council who have a public email address, The Mayor, The Deputy Mayor, and The City Controller.

I once again requested all of the information I have been asking for...

I sent the email around 9:30 AM today.

I also called The Mayor, The Deputy Mayor, and The City Controller's office and left messages regarding my request for information.

Pat Roller's office called me back around 2:30 PM today and told me that all of the information I requested will be posted on the City website by 5 PM today.

I am impressed that four City councilmen, all who tend to support The Harrison Square Project, made a specific point during last nights meeting of telling The Mayor's office that they need to release more information to the public. These City Councilmen were Tom Didier, Glyn Hines, Tom Hayhurst, and Sam Talarico. If you believe the JG, all four of these Councilmen currently favor the project; however, each specifically mentioned that The City needed to get more information to the public. Glyn Hines repeatedly said that the information needs to be made available on the Fort Wayne website.

I strongly believe that The Mayor's office has handled the informational aspects of this Project horribly. Everything has been held too closely and the City has rebuffed requests for information and have refused to provide information that they have promised to provide.

I feel that if The Mayor's office had handled this better that there would be a little less opposition to the project.

I feel that I would have opposed this project even if the Mayor's office distributed the information as they should have; however, I think there are other people who might have been more open to the Harrison Square Project if the City had been more forthright.

Below is a copy of the information I requested in this mornings email:

1. All financial projections involved with The Harrison Square Project.

2. The calculation you used to determine the public vs private financing of the project with the amount you used for each component. For example, what costs did you include for land acquisition, demolition, site preparation, etc.

3. All written documents provided to you by the Hotel Developer in response to the formal RFP that are associated with and including forms A1, A2, A3, and A4.

4. The “Crowe” report that was prepared for the City entitled “Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Proposed Harrison Square Project.” This report prepared by “Crowe” refers to another report entitled “City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Downtown Community Revitalization Enhancement District, Consultants Report.” The “Crow” report gets many of its assumptions from this report and I cannot analyze “Crowe’s” report until I review the report they used for many of their assumptions.

5. A copy of the information packet provided to City Council for last nights meeting.

I am looking forward to seeing what is posted by 5 PM...

Mike Sylvester

17 comments:

scott said...

Mike,

The CRED consultant report was also done by Crowe. I'm told it will be posted on the city website soon.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

You rock partner...

Thank you for the information!

Mike Sylvester

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

It is about 3 PM on Thursday afternoon and the CRED report is still not posted...

Maybe you should head over to the Mayor's office and teach them how to post a pdf file!

It is not that hard...

Mike Sylvester

scott said...

Mike,

They have to get the final version from Crowe first. The copy they had was a draft.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Are you telling me that the city didn't get a copy of a report they paid for?

And more importantly, did anyone in this administration bother to read the report that defines the inputs for their economic impact study? If so, then why don't they have a copy?

This entire situation makes no sense. They simply appear to be stalling.

I'd hate to say "I told you so" Mike but...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

Jeff summed it up perfectly.

The report I am requesting was required to be completed BEFORE the Economic Impact report was released.

Either they are stalling or they are incompetent.

Mike Sylvester

scott said...

Wow guys, chill out a bit. They have the report, it just says "draft" on the front page and they want to post the final document, which requires getting it (and in digital format) from Crowe.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

I have been "Chilling" since February.

My patience has worn a bit thin...

Mike Sylvester

scott said...

You're not the only one wanting to read the document, Mike. I'm waiting also.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

I imagine a lot of people want to read the document. The document should contain most of the financial assumptions the entire project hinges on.

Mike Sylvester

Jeff Pruitt said...

I'm sure the mayor's office has a lot of work to do but Mark Becker promised several council members that they would make all the information available to anyone that wants it.

They have failed to do so. Beyond that, all my original questions still stand - namely why the hell don't they have a final version? They PAID for it AND it provides the inputs for their economic impact study.

For me, this is the most telling part of the entire Harrison Square saga. These guys don't even HAVE the data that backs up their assertions - let alone understand it. Yet we're supposed to blindly support them? Good grief.

Seriously, Mike and I can't be the only ones disturbed by this. Can you imagine what would happen if these guys went before a venture capitalist with such poor preparation?

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Jeff:

They would be laughed out of the room. I doubt that they could even schedule a meeting with a VC for this project.

They sent out requests to meet with six different developers for the project. Five of them declined to seriously consider the project in the first place.

Only one developer decided to respond and so now that Developer has us "over a barrel."

Mike Sylvester

scott said...

"These guys don't even HAVE the data that backs up their assertions"

Wrong.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Scott:

I believe you are a computer science person and I know that you run a very nice blog. I am sure that you know a lot more about computer technology then I do, and I am sure you know a lot more about computers and scanners then I do.

Here is what you said in a previous post:

"Wow guys, chill out a bit. They have the report, it just says "draft" on the front page and they want to post the final document, which requires getting it (and in digital format) from Crowe."

Did you explain to them they do not NOT need to get it from Crowe in a digital format? All we need is a hard copy and a device commonly referred to as a scanner?

For example, they could pick up a device commonly known as a telephone and call Crowe. Then they could ask Crowe to pull up the report and either email it to the City or to use another common device known as a fax machine to fax a copy to the City. Then the City could post it online.

It is 2007, these things are relatively simple.

Heck, better yet they could give it to you and you could post it on your blog. I know that you could post it no matter what format they give it to you in Scott.

Maybe you could teach them how easy it is to post things on websites and blogs? Your blog is the best source of information on this project and you have posted a wide number of reports.

Mike Sylvester

Anonymous said...

I also am annoyed by the City's lack of response. But not surprised. The only thing they have added since Tues are a dozen or so pages used at the Council meeting.

It is either extraordinary arrogance, or they are delaying as long as possible. I've put my name on the list for the public hearing and I intend to protest the continuing stonewalling with the information. I recommend you do the same. If this creates another week of delay, the City can blame its own unwillingness to provide information to the citizens.

Mark Garvin

Jeff Pruitt said...

Scott,

If they DO have the data then it's even more telling that they can't figure out how to get it to the public...

scott said...

It's up!