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Friday September 19th 2014

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Donovan/Nobles referendum can’t stop the stadium

City Attorney Rusty Wells has analyzed the petition drive by Marty Donovan and Jack Nobles and has issued his opinion to the Mayor and Pensacola City Council. He has concluded the petition and any referendum will have no impact on the maritime park and the stadium. They will be built. (Read the letter)

1. The City was not a party to the contract, and the opportunity to approve or disapprove the contract was a qualified right that has now expired.

2. If the referendum passed it would unlawfully place the City in breach of contract of its many commitments to the bond purchasers and tax credit investors. The Series 2009 can’t be paid off immediately nor can they be paid off with the New Market Tax Credits without breaching the agreements and creating millions of dollars of liability to the bondholders and the tax credit investors, according to the bond counsel. (Bond counsel letter)

3. Florida Statutes prohibit a city charter and its referendum process from stopping the expenditure of the bonds for the purpose for which the funds were borrowed.

4. Florida Constitution prohibits the passing of laws retroactively impairing the obligation of contracts that were lawful. The referendum would retroactively impair the contractual obligations of the CMPA and its developer. Therefore, it is an unconstitutional act.

—- Will Donovan and Nobles be honest enough to share this letter with the voters? Will they put it up on their PAC website?