Below is a copy of a letter submitted by John Kalb to various parties today. I have put the letter in italics. I am publishing this letter with Mr. Kalb's permission. Please read it.
From : John B. Kalb July 18, 2007
3720 Mulberry Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
To: Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission
Attn: Christopher Guerin
Cc: John Wernet, Commission Attorney
Subject: Your resolutions # 2007-49 and, because of interrelationships, #2007-48
I am writing to ask that you NOT approve the subject resolutions, which pertain to the baseball stadium license and management agreements, because I think that Indiana state law mandates that you may not enter into an agreement for the management of a public facility without first making a public request for proposals. In particular, I direct your attention to IC 5-23-2-2(which defines “board” and which definition I think encompasses your Commission), IC 5-23-2-7(which defines “operating agreement” and which definition I think encompasses the proposed Hardball/ stadium agreements), IC 5-23-4-1(which grants the Commission the authority to enter into an operating agreement for the management, maintenance, etc. of the stadium) and IC 5-23-5-1(which requires that the proposed agreements be preceded by and pursuant to a public request for proposals).
I also refer you to a recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision of Stuller vs. Daniels, issued on July 16, 2007, which confirms that a public-private agreement for the operation or management of a public facility is illegal if the governmental entity does not first make a public request for proposals.
At a minimum, I respectfully request that you delay any decision on the referenced resolutions until you have obtained COMPETENT legal counsel assuring you of the legality of these agreements, have made such opinion, if any, known to the public, and have provided time to consider any contrary views. The entire Harrison Square project has aroused much public suspicion and any premature and illegal action on your part at this time will only add to the public cynicism.
I will say that if you approve these resolutions at your scheduled special meeting on 7/23/07, I intend to file suit challenging and enjoining your actions.
I have enclosed a copy of IC 5-23-5 and a summary of the judicial decision that I have referenced.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signed John B. Kalb
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; each of the nine Fort Wayne Common Council members plus attorneys: Tim Manges, Joe Kimmel, Joseph Bonahoom and Philip Larmore
As many of the readers of this blog know I am NOT an attorney. I do not claim to have much knowledge about the law.
I am certain that The City has not put the current proposed Baseball Stadium Management Contract our for bid.
My cursory review of the Indiana Code sections cited leads me to believe that Mr. Kalb is correct and I will be interested in seeing how the Redevelopment Commission responds.
I will be especially interested in how Karen Goldner responds to this. She is currently running for City Council in my district and I am looking forward to seeing how she handles this.