M E M O R A N D U M
TO: CMPA Board of Directors
FROM: Owen M. Beitsch, PhD, AICP, CRE
DATE: November 11, 2008
RE: Status of Negotiations Concerning Maritime Park
First, let me apologize for not being in attendance at the regularly scheduled meeting of the CMPA Board of Directors. Long planned personal obligations preclude me joining you on this date.
As with the memorandum distributed in October, this update is also brief. It will be followed by a detailed report or recommendation at a meeting occurring in December. As far as I know, the date for the December meeting is now set for December 1, 2008. This date will allow a public hearing to occur later in the same month and, if necessary, to make further modifications to any agreements which in turn would be forwarded to City Council for its approval.
If you recall, I had indicated it was optimistic to submit a fully vetted agreement back to CMPA within 60 days although I remained hopeful. I want to make it absolutely clear the delays, if they should even be called that, are not Scott Davisson’s fault at all. Scott, for his part, has been relentless in trying to complete this agreement within the aggressive, 60 day schedule he offered. It may yet happen in less than 90 days but the process of exchanging and reviewing materials pertinent to the final agreement simply makes that difficult despite Scott’s intentions and effort. Effectively, with a deal in the making, it is important to let the terms, not a date, bring a suitable conclusion to the process.
At this point, we continue to work within the basic structure outlined in the proposed memorandum of understanding distributed at the last meeting. Details are emerging to address each of the items that was listed, and some have changed altogether simply because they created their own set of issues. I would say in the main Scott is close to submitting an agreement that offers workable solutions to a number of business points and identifies a specific timeline and deliverables for the City’s invested dollars. When you yourselves review the draft development agreement, you should contemplate it with the expectation that it is largely in harmony with achieving the points outlined in the MOU. If you recall, I had already observed the MOU is relatively consistent with the proposal he submitted earlier this year. Ultimately, it will be your decision if this deal fulfills the CMPA mission but I believe it will.
In effect, this memo is a progress report on the status of the negotiations which are, more or less, about where I thought they would be. I expect to see the final draft submitted for your approval in December. Ed and I, with the input of the chairman, have laid out a schedule for finalizing and approving the agreement which they can share with you.
If there is reason to further adjust the timeline, we will know in very short order. In the meantime, I think all parties to the discussion have been responsive and cooperative. While certainly a good thing, my good experiences with Scott and this process should not be construed as a final deal.
As a final suggestion, I’m going to recommend that following Scott’s submitted final draft, he be allowed to meet with each CMPA board member individually to discuss any open issues perceived to remain. As the person who helped create this barrier, I think its initial function has been satisfied. At this time, the restriction may be cumbersome. The logical time for these individual meetings would be just prior to the public hearing. I am also going to suggest that either I or Ed Spears be present at all of these meetings so any discussions are balanced. The broad totality of what Land Capital proposes will be widely distributed at that point, and I don’t see why he should not be allowed to have more detailed conversations regarding an agreement that he has authored.