A Promise and an Update: More Details Emerge about Renaissance Project Agreement

People seeking elected office make promises to voters. I am no exception. My biggest promise is that if elected I will provide transparent, inclusive, and truly representative leadership. My commitment to upholding this promise is so strong that I attend every city meeting and post summaries and full audio on my TalkingPoli Blog for you to review.


I am already keeping my promise.


While this should be a relatively easy task, keeping up with shifting narratives and seeking missing information often makes it much harder than necessary.

Last night, at the regular Common Council meeting, more details were shared about the Renaissance Project agreement reached between the Redevelopment Commission and ARC Construction Management to clarify what Mayor Hall classifies as “misinformation.”

Based on the new details provided last night, we now know that the City of Charlestown’s Redevelopment Commission will provide a $950,000 bond as incentive to the developer, who will construct the $4-4.5 million project. The incentive will be in addition to selling the property purchased by the City of Charlestown’s Redevelopment Commission for $1,004,850 to ARC for $2.00 (if ARC accepts the phase 2 option). Some of the incentives will take the form of fee waivers, so, as city attorney Michael Gillenwater stated last night, “we don’t even know how much out-of-pocket” will actually be required. The bond will be repaid with the property taxes captured through the TIF of the Renaissance site. You can read the summary and listen audio of last night’s meeting here: Common Council Meeting 01/22/2019. The original meeting in which the deal was first discussed is here: Redevelopment Commission 01/17/2019.

It is vital that people have easy access to complete and accurate information about the executive and legislative decisions made by our elected representatives. Charlestown does not have this now.

Details that shift and change each time they are presented leave us confused and improperly informed. Consider the following timeline regarding the public notice calling for developers interested in the Renaissance Project:

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Which is it? Were multiple developers interested? Did the city approach ARC? Did ARC approach the city by sending in a request for proposal? 

Reporting what is said, and documenting it in audio recordings of public meetings is not “spreading misinformation.”  Misinformation arises when details change each time a meeting is held. 

You have my promise, that if elected, I will provide complete, accurate, and thorough information in pubic formats that are easily accessible. 

You have my promise, that if elected, I will allow you to ask questions at public meetings so that you leave well informed. 

You have my promise, that I am a woman of integrity and I will always remember that I report to the people I represent. I will work for YOU. 

My word is my bond. But don’t simply believe what you’re told by any candidate this election year. Let the recordings and documentation I provide be the evidence you need to decide who presents fair and accurate information.


Sources: 

Redevelopment Meeting 04/12/2018 https://talkingpoli.com/2018/04/12/redevelopment-commission-meeting-04-12-2018/

Redevelopment Meeting 04/26/2018: https://talkingpoli.com/2018/05/02/redevelopment-commission-meeting-04-26-2018/

News and Tribune Article 09/05/2018: https://www.newsandtribune.com/news/charlestown-considering-live-work-play-development-meant-to-revitalize-downtown/article_bdaf0a4e-b0a4-11e8-89f4-ffdd1fd04ede.html

Original blog post on the development agreement: https://trevaformayor.com/2019/01/20/what-price-progress-city-to-spend-5-million-plus-will-own-nothing-in-return/