Previously I shared with you a contract with architecture firm Luckett & Farley approved on June 3 by the Board of Public Works (available below). Although the contract was not explained in that public meeting, I obtained a copy through an open records request and learned that the firm has been hired by the city to design a conceptual plan for a sports complex on an unidentified 120 acre parcel of land.
Today I attended a special meeting called by the River Ridge Redevelopment Board. After the meeting I was able to discuss a nearly decade-old promise that River Ridge made to Charlestown to donate a large portion of land with some of the board members. At their next regularly scheduled meeting on September 16th, the Board will consider a resolution that will transfer 160 acres of land to the City of Charlestown.
It seems things are lining up to give the community the long-promised sports complex. While the gift of land is certainly exciting, the sports park plan raises some questions.
First, in light of the money allotted to studies, conceptual designs, and other parks built in the mean time, could we not have already renovated our existing civic center? This is the heart of my campaign promise to Keep Charlestown First. I believe in planning WITH you to meet your existing needs while welcoming new people to our community. Why wait?
Second, if Klipsh-Card Athletic Facilities, experts in the sports park business, backed off of their study prematurely because they saw we didn’t have the population to fill the need, then is it the best idea to move on a large, expensive facility now?
Finally, how can we entrust such a large project to a mayor who has neglected the basic responsibilities of his job? Working in partnership with the community, and failures in things like infrastructure, drainage, and our water system do not indicate that he’s the best person to manage this project.
Bob Hall’s decision-making process differs drastically from mine. Take the dog park as an example. Bob Hall told the News and Tribune on August 30, 2018 that while campaigning in 2015 he noticed that people had dogs, so he decided to build the $125,000 dog park. Currently only 45 people have registered to use that park. Our decisions need to be community-informed, not based on the whims of one person.
This year it’s time to elect a mayor who operates differently. This major project deserves YOUR feedback. Under my administration you’ll be a part of the process, not kept in the dark until the big reveal.
You can review the Luckett Farley contract below. Remember Treva in November!
The Luckett & Farley contract can be read here: Luckett Farley Contract