December 16, 2009

Janelle to Nicastro: Call me

Bristol Downtown Development Corp. member Jennifer Janelle's response to Mike Nicastro, the chamber's president:

Mr. Nicastro,
You really should not speak of things about which you do not know.
First, the original October meeting was scheduled for a date that I was prepared to attend. The meeting date was changed by the Executive Director due to space availability issues at City Hall to a date when the entire Board knew I was scheduled to be out of the country, despite my strong desire to be present. I made every attempt to be at that meeting, calling and emailing members several times from my travels. I did get hung up in customs in New York and did not make it back. The circumstances were well beyond my control and I resent the implication that I have somehow shirked my duties. It was a special meeting, not a regularly scheduled meeting, and one called at the last minute at that.
Additionally, we as a Board have been advised by counsel not to have direct communications with either bidder. Neither is a publicly traded company with 10-ks and other reports available for public inspection. So how exactly do you propose that I do my own due diligence?
Other internal issues exist concerning what questions would be asked and by whom and these issues have been raised by me over and over again in the 3 years I have been on the Board. I will not debate those issues with you, a non-member. If you had attended each and every Board meeting, you would know my positions have been consistent and unwavering on the appropriate process we should be following. I have been outvoted on numerous occasions and the minutes and recordings evidence that.
The Board has had proposals in hand less than 60 days. No other community that I have ever worked with (more than 2 dozen municipalities and 80 Boards of Education while in private practice advising communities on construction and development projects related to energy and other utility projects) has acted on a bid response in less than 60 days and without any due diligence whatsoever. Nashua New Hampshire did 8 months of due diligence prior to selecting a developer. However, I am unwilling to rely on someone else's process, not having seen it or knowing anything about it. Unfortunately, I am also not willing to compromise my personal or professional integrity to go along with the pack and do what I am told.
My only interest is in getting the best possible developer for the best possible downtown in the best possible procedural way to avoid problems down the road. I am not in this for votes, contributions or political favors. I am in this for the people of Bristol. It is unfortunate that so many in this town drive away volunteers trying to make the City a better place with the name-calling, demands for resignations and the like. I will not bend to threats, intimidation, name-calling and all out attempts at public embarrassment.
I'm sorry that we disagree, but I intend to do it in a professional and polite manner. If you have specific concerns you want to address with me, I invite you to pick up the phone and I would be happy to arrange a time to meet with you, rather than making a public spectacle out this.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

If you are in it for the citizens of Bristol then you would have made the difficult choices and voted. Instead, you chose to say you want more bidders, which makes no sense since you haven't mentioned that before and you obviously know there are no other bidders not to mention that time is RUNNING OUT!!!! We don't have forever for you decide you're happy with the amount of people who have bid on this project.

I don't think anyone will ever really know why you didn't vote for one of the two, but you totally missed the boat on this one. Now the State thinks we are jokes and who knows if we'll be funded because we look so indecisive!

If you were concerned about the number of people or lack thereof bidding on this project, why didn't you say so in the beginning instead of acting as if everything is hunkie dorie and then at the 11th hour saying, Oops, sorry, but I think we need more time to see if anyone else will come forward?

This is a poor economy and you know very well we're lucky to have the two that put in bids. They have both spent lots of time and money and who would now, in their right mind, want to bid on this project? All they need to do is look at what has transpired and they can see two things very clearly: There are people on this board who are clearly in favor of Damato no matter what information is given to them and secondly, anyone who bids on this job will spend thousands of dollars to put together a proposal just to have the real and ugly possibility that this group of people will say, well, we're going to wait for other suitors. We are a laughing stock and you're the lead clown in this fiasco!

Anonymous said...

It seems as if first should start with the meetings she is notated as missing in August and September. Not just the last one in October. Three(3) in a row. It's no wonder she doesn't have the information to make the decision.

Reading the rest of the minutes back to June, Ms. Janelle does not appear to be outvoted in any of the motions she presented nor did she go against any of the motions presented by others. Going back an entire year, there is seems nothing on record in the minutes that she was out-voted or even challenged against for a motion.

Are the minutes inaccurate and we should believe this statement that she has been out voted and not listened to?

The BDDC as a collective (NOT just Ms. Janelle) needs to get it together, stop the in-fighting and/or dissolve as a whole.

Enough with the excuses.

Anonymous said...

Time is running out huh? I believe the end of the world is coming in 2012, so perhaps you have a point... I guess...

Anonymous said...

It must be nice to serve on a Board with Ms. Jenlle...a beautiful woman to look at...all night long...sigh...

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Janelle has served the City of Bristol and the BDDC well. I consider attacks on her outrageous. People have differing opinions. That's life.

I don't have to agree with her votes to respect her dedication to our efforts and significant comments during our deliberations.

I look forward to working with her.

Tom Cosgrove, Vice Chair, BDDC

Anonymous said...

Stop the bickering and get on with the program already! BDDC you should know better. You all should make up and fix it!!! Bristol is waiting...and don't forget we will be asking about due diligence, conflict of interest and collusive issues too. so do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Janelle for Mayor. People like her are what we need.

Anonymous said...

If she doesn't want to make a public spectacle out of this, then why did she post this letter on the blog instead of just sending in to Nicastro??

What a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Janelle's point about due diligence is bogus. History has proven that lawyers are skilled liars. They are trained to make arguments; and twisting the truth often becomes an instrument they use to their advantage.

There has to be more here "than meets the eye."

Does anyone else wonder why someone from the BDDC hasn't called New Hampshire to ask what they learned? They spent 8 months vetting the Renaissance developer, and then hired them.

Apparently, they discovered enough positives to outweigh the negatives or they wouldn't have hired them. Ms. Janelle should call the people in New Hampshire to find out what they learned.

Do something!

Anonymous said...

I don't know Janelle, but I would like to know if BDDC did followed the "due diligence" process and if there are "collusive issues" I want to know like many Bristol residents. Please tell us!

Anonymous said...

Hey, 3:55 PM, are you really that big of a twit?

Anonymous said...

Somebody want to tell me exactly what we are paying an executive director of the BDDC for? Are they not the ones who should be taking the questions form the commissioners and getting the answers? Are they not the ones who should have vettted the due diligence?

Anonymous said...

I get the feeling that this is all about her and her legacy not the best pick ( here is a hint Rennasance )

Anonymous said...

I would think that two adults in professional capacities would have this "discussion" face to face and not via the Bristol Blog.