Downtown Development Initiative: Listen and Learn How Negotiations Went Awry

I worked to elect all three Council members – Cam, Sally, Bill – intimately involved in the RAM negotiations. I’ve found them to be good folks with a keen interest in promoting what they think is best for our community. And that is why listening to these audio recordings was one of the most dispiriting chores I’ve ever undertaken.

Reviewing the documentation on how RAM Development step-by-step backed these folks away from a good initial vision towards the fiscal, social, environmental, aesthetic mess we have today, well, it was quite tough.

It was one of the reasons I’ve been so quiet of late.

I worked on cleaning up some of the audio, but, on the whole, it is really miserable. Where there’s a MP3 version of a WMA (Window’s Media) file, the MP3 is the “cleaner” of the two.

Aug. 1st

Aug. 2nd

Aug. 18th

Sept. 15

Feb. 27

June 19th

Aug. 16th

Sept. 7th

Oct. 23rd

Nov. 11th

I told the Clerk I’d be happy to purchase the town a couple decent digital audio recorders so that critical meetings (and these are probably some of the most critical held in the last decade) will be captured clearly for posterity.

By the way, I think RAM Development did a FANTASTIC job on what they were supposed to do… get the absolutely best deal for their owners.

I’m sure future developers will take a page or two from RAM’s playbook.

They offloaded the risk to the public, secured an asset they can flip for millions (maybe tens of millions) within a few years and will convert public properties to posh million dollar residences with their awesome “frog in the boiling water” technique.

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