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.
NOT READY TO DECIDE AT ALL
Jennifer Janelle said the downtown nonprofit needs to take more time and seek out more information and developers. She said there's no rush.
NOT TAKING PART
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.
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Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org