From: Carmella Mantello <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Jan 18, 2016 3:06 PM
To: Mark Mcgrath <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>, John Donohue <email@example.com>, Jim Gulli <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Dean <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com
Cc: Jason Schofield <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please be advised pursuant to Section 2-17 of the Troy City Code, there will be a Workshop of the City Council on Monday, January 25, 2016 at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers to receive an update on the status of the One Monument Square project. Both the developer, Kirchhoff Properties, and We Care About the Square (WCATS) have been invited to make separate presentations regarding the project.
I encourage all council members to attend to receive this important update.
Why pursuant to Section 2-17? Section 2-17 states the following:
All standing committees of the City Council shall meet at least once every two months (except for special meetings). Public notice of regular meetings shall be posted at City Hall and made known to appropriate local news media, for announcement at least one week prior to each meeting. Meetings of standing committees shall be open to public attendance. Participation, however, shall be restricted to committee members, except that citizen participation may be allowed by invitation of committee chairpersons.
Is this a meeting of a standing committee? Is this a 'workshop'? If a meeting of a standing committee, just say so. Don't cloak a publicity stunt by invoking a Charter provision.
Anyway, the people we need to hear from, Kirchoff Properties, will not be attending.
According to the Albany Business Review:
"Permit me to suggest that it would be irrational, if not foolhardy, to discuss, or be criticized for presenting a project [to the City Council] that may be altered or modified by required further actions by, and, in turn, further submissions to the Planning Commission," Saland told Mantello.
This response gave our City Council President a tummy ache:
"I think it's a mistake to not provide an update on the status," said Mantello, who took office Jan. 1 along with four other new members of the City Council. "I can tell you it doesn't sit well in my stomach. I truly believe this project is critical to the future of not just our downtown, but the city as a whole."
Saland, a former Republican Senator who cast the decisive vote on the Marriage Equality Act, misses the point, or perhaps not. The point is not informational. The point is publicity. To create the appearance of action.
The fact is, the current developer has until May 2016 to close this deal. If they do, then the property is theirs and they can start development. Until then, the Council and Mayor are powerless to do much without risking a lawsuit. All that will occur if Kirchoff shows up to discuss the project is create fodder for critics like We Care About the Square, a group Mantello is courting.
Kirchoff knows that We Care About the Square will never be appeased. They seem to desire a particular developer or a project that is untenable. The square footage of potential residential and commercial space dictates a project that will roughly cost $25,000,000. Too much more than that and there's just not enough space to make a project viable. We appreciate their love of Troy and do not doubt the sincerity of most of the group, but certain things are not going to happen.
Sam Judge had the best proposal but the estimated cost was $50,000,000. Judge was asked to provide assurances that he could get that kind of dough and failed to do so. That's because no one will invest in a $50,000,000 project in that space. Love of your city can cause people to have blind spots.
We'd like an update as well but understand Kirchoff's declination of the invite. The Kirchoff project looks fine to us and we hope they get this thing moving soon. If not, there's another $600,000 accounted for in the budget that does not exist.