December 15, 2009

Downtown meltdown

Last night's implosion of the Bristol Downtown Development Corp., whose seven members managed to divide themselves up into four distinct groups in vote after vote, doesn't look any better the next day.
What we saw as the panel tried to decide which of two developers to bring on board were four groups, though two of them had just one member:

Three commissioners -- Frank Johnson, John Lodovico and Tom Cosgrove -- were ready to give the Long Island-based developer the chance to tackle the project.

Two commissioners -- Gardner Wright and Dick Kallenbach -- backed the hometown firm instead.

Jennifer Janelle said the downtown nonprofit needs to take more time and seek out more information and developers. She said there's no rush.

John Leone said he had a conflict of interest that barred him from participating in the choice. It apparently relates to a supposed promise by Renaissance to help out the Boys and Girls Club with downtown property, but we'll have to look into that a little more deeply.

Since no combination of people could achieve a majority for either developer, the session simply dissolved into the vague hope that Renaissance and D'Amato can come to some sort of agreement between themselves, which would let the BDDC off the hook.
The truly sad part is that the BDDC's inability to make a decision actually made the City Council look good, since its seven members haven't often failed to come to some sort of resolution to even the most difficult issues facing the community.
Since it's hard to make the City Council look good, that says quite a lot about what happened with the BDDC.
Then again, the council will get its shot at picking a developer, too, if the BDDC can manage to recommend one. There's no guarantee that councilors will fare any better than the BDDC, since the hometown versus out of town split exists among politicians as well.
One can imagine the council refusing to go along with the choice of a badly divided BDDC.
It's going to be interesting watching how they all dig themselves out of this hole.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

mr. leone's credibility has just been flushed down the toilet.

if this clown had a conflict of interest, he should have removed himself from this process when the proposals were first received.

to wait until the vote came up is irresponsible and shows his lack of devotion to the process. he knew the consequences of his [in]actions.

mr., my friend, are a disgrace.

-billy from bristol

Anonymous said...

This committee has failed and should be fired. If John Leone knew that he had a conflict he should have removed himself from this board so a replacement (who could make a decision) could be added in time for last night's meeting. What a joke the BDDC has become.

Anonymous said...

Just another Stortz mess he leaves! He put this board in place now look what we have.

Great job Stortz...but of course you will think your still doing a great job.

BTW...stop working through Katty...your making her look bad.

Anonymous said...

This is what we get when we keep bringing the same people in. This is very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

why does the BDDC have to choose one? Cant they recommend two to the city council?

Anonymous said...

Steve who are the alternates?

Steve Collins said...

There are no alternates.

Anonymous said...

You people failed the tax payers.If the mayor had any guts he would make all of you resign.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Janelle needs to stay home with her family or something. She should resign.

Positively Right said...

Clearly this "panel" is disfunctional and should be disbanded.
Sure, let the city council vote on it. It's better than this joke. As long as Minor is not on the council, everything should go smoothly.

Anonymous said...

minor put janelle on the board. gee, no surprise there!

Anonymous said...

The BDDC was suggested to Stortz as something that the State would look favorably on. The original version and membership was bastardized by the council and that is how we ended up with what we now have.

I recall some of the names he suggested: would have been great contributors, but most bowed oout after it became political.

Check on which council member appointed whom.

Still could work, and hopefully it will.
At least it was not a one man decision.

Anonymous said...

Where are all the developers that Rosenthal said he had waiting in the wings????

Anonymous said...


If you want to stick stortz with this board, you have to include Krawiecki too.

Anonymous said...

Cockayne is an idiot child!