Why The Rush to Sell Vandaveer?
Where is CAG when you need them? Wasn't this group all about responsible, transparent and accountable city governance? They seemed very concerned about how the city spent tax revenue so shouldn't they also be concerned over how the city disposes of assets? Yet I have not seen any indication of their outrage over the council's hasty decision to liquidate a major city asset.
By setting a quick deadline for liquidation, there is no way that the city can obtain the highest dollar amount or the best ultimate use for the Vandaveer ranch property. It seems they have already scared off one purchaser. Who wants to step up and buy land when the council has telegraphed its intent to liquidate every bit of the property within a year? This is not the way a normal and rational governmental body should work.
They seem to have manufactured a crisis so they can respond in what appears to be a preordained way. Who was knocking at the door claiming TABOR non compliance? How is it that the council is so willing to accept the opinion of an attorney, who at the outset admitted he was not knowledgeable in TABOR law, while a couple of more experienced attorneys seem to disagree that the city is in non compliance?
The council claimed that DOLA was going to 'punish' the city for non compliance, yet DOLA has repeatedly said they have nothing to do with enforcement of TABOR.
Why not slow this process down? Put out a request for proposals and see if the city can find a developer who will negotiate with the city, not just over price but over the build out? It seems many folks want to see some affordable housing and perhaps some recreational amenities. Maybe we can have our cake and eat it too. Our market is hot so why not make the most of it?
Something really stinks about this process and as a citizen of Salida, I feel like I am getting one put over on me. It isn't a great feeling.
If the mayor and council members are convinced that they are failing to uphold the state constitution, perhaps they should resign rather than waste a great potential asset.