December 17, 2009

So what's so secret about this?

In her email to the Bristol Downtown Development Corp. board and others this morning, Jennifer Janelle included this paragraph:
In addition to Waterbury, Meriden, Norwich, and Nashua, the July 2009 edition of New Urban News states that Monti has targeted and is putting in proposals in 22 communities:  Paterson, NJ; Springfield, MA; Nashua, Concord and Manchester, NH; Norwalk, Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Britain, Hartford, Bristol, Meriden, Enfield, Windsor, New Haven, New London and Norwich, CT; Glen Cove, Long Beach, Hempstead, Copaigue and Freeport, New York.    This heightens my concern about being spread too thin (which I raised in executive session) having enough money to go around and spending enough time on Bristol.  I also found City Council minutes which show that a proposal has also been submitted in Bedford, NH.  I specifically requested in Executive Session that we ask how many proposals there are out there and what has been promised to each, but that question was not posed.
I know the Freedom of Information Act pretty well and can't see grounds that would allow BDDC commissioners to talk in secret session about whether Renaissance was "spread too thin" or to request that officials find "how many proposals there out there and what has been promised to each."
Those are the sorts of discussions, in fact, that ought to be happening in public.
Had they been, we would know a lot more about the build-up to the downtown meltdown on Monday night.
Instead, it looks like much that we should have known happened not in the public's eye but behind closed doors.
This is not how government should operate.
It certainly raises all sorts of questions about what else has transpired out of view.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Is she clueless? said...

Yes, Jennifer that's what big companies do. They submit multiple proposals in the hope of being chosen for a couple. Welcome to sales and busines 101.

Anonymous said...

Get back on your Harley and ride far away.

Anonymous said...

Steve - If I'm not mistaken Renassaince had a slide in their public presentation in October with the list of 22 communities that they were proposing to. They certainly were not hiding it.

See what happens when you miss meetings.

Marc B said...

It was also mentioned on the tape that aired on NUTMEG TV 5 a few weeks back.

Anonymous said...

What do you think businesses do. Is Renassaince supposed to sit on their hands and do nothing while they wait for you and the other board members to get off their lazy butts and make a decision. They would not be in business if this was the case. Not to mention you should be asking the same question of Damato. That company has been on site of that 550000 sqft residence they are building in Avon for over 3 years. Are they spreading themselves too thin? If this is the best reason you can come up with to not cast a vote than please resign from your position. As a matter of fact, ALL OF YOU SHOULD RESIGN. Put this up for a public vote.

Anonymous said...

Oh Steve, here we go again with the "secret" government stuff! Interviews and negotiations can be conducted in private. The reason being, you don't want the company to know you're having doubts about them until you've done your homework and can confirm your doubts. It's easy to say as a layperson "oh yeah, every single word and thought anyone in the government has should be thought and said before the public in public session" but that's idealism at its worst. Government is a business, and in business there are times when you're best not to show your hand for strategic reasons. Government is often criticized for its inability to act as efficiently as business, but the only reason for that is all the unrealistic regulations, restrictions, and limitations government employees are forced to operate within. Inaction is usually the preferred course for government, because every move you make is more liable to draw criticism rather than praise. I work in business and I see city government, and BDDC and BHA and all these other groups take it on the chin for doing things that we do every day as a course of business. I think the problem is, there are too few people living here who have even the most remote understanding of business or administration, and are thus completely unsympathetic to anything its governing bodies have to do to get their jobs done without botching a negotiation or scaring off business partners or losing its best employees when they all become sick of the constant criticism and abuse. It's easy for Joe Plumber to say everyone in government is incompetent, because you wouldn't know the first thing about administrative competence.

Anonymous said...

Right ,wrong or in different Jennifer is intitled to her own opinion!

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Janelle has worked for major national law firms and has been involved in some major development deals. Her experience has been valuable to the BDDC. Isn't there room for deabate about valid concerns?? Jennifer raised those concerns often within my earshot.

I don't disagree with the priciples of FOI but believe that the written law in CT and its execution is ridulous and extremely costly. If Bart Barnes knew the tens of millions of dollars spent yearly in the name of FOI and the costly delays of action and execution, he would call for modifications. The so-called "melt-down" on Monday night could probably have been avoided if the BDDC were allowed to meet for 30 minutes in private. No, not in a smoke filled room; just inprivate.

I have comments about both developers that are, let's say, negative and prejudicial. They will never see the light of day because FOI does not allow for an appropriate venue.

Hopefully we can move the ball down the road on Monday night.

Tom Cosgrove
Vice Chair, BDDC

Anonymous said...

9:37 AM

who are you? you have a life? everybody should be told to write short statements!! This is not UCONN, this is only a blog. pleeease!!!!

Anonymous said...

9:37 ok you "know it all" who cares about what you have to say!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, 9:37 AM, please write only short statements. And be sure to use only small words, one or two syllables each. And please try harder to not sound like you know what you're talking about. It might also help if you would spell some words incorrectly and not use proper punctuation.

Apparently, some readers here have a REALLY SHORT attention span and big problems with reading comprehension. Your co-operation would be greatly appreciated.