Oh, and guess what the written report plainly states regarding the stadium site?
"Our Team's relationship with Meritus Health will promote and advance opportunities to use that site for the new stadium..."That's right. Here we go again. It's a foregone conclusion before Ripken even publicly presents the report! At least somebody thought so, but later the mayor and council claimed that is not the case.
"...all parties have indicated that if for any reason the City would not agree to pursue the recommended approach described later in this report, that they would pursue these initiatives with our Team directly to implement desired outcomes and to use our Team to network with the other groups mentioned above."This is a pretty bold and arrogant statement from people who are trying to form a partnership. That would get my back up and make me question the dream team's ability to work respectfully and cooperatively with our elected officials. Although Dane Bauer has come off as a big shot at times in prior meetings, I have overlooked it out of respect for his record and hope for the future of our city, but I think that this was out of line. I looked at the letters of intent, and only the Maryland Theater made such a claim in writing. However, the Maryland Theater immediately followed that statement with:
" ...the Maryland Theater reserves the right to explore all options independent of this initiative..."This attitude enforces the need for the advisory committee formed to advise the city on forming the P3. I know that the city was mocked by the Herald Mail for forming this committee, but it is now obvious that it was a good move.
NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE THAT FIRST STEP ALONE
MAYOR AND COUNCIL COMMENTS
Metzner stated that the city has been working on downtown for two decades and that they were making progress until the housing bubble burst. Hagerstown is having the same issues as many other towns due to the bad economy. He again acknowledged the momentum that was building during the initial stadium proposal, and the excitement of the business community that was apparent. [Not with investment money. Just saying.] He also acknowledged that the community and the voters did not want it. It was a huge disappointment. [The past administration should have asked the community before they made the initial plans.] He points out that the city is now at a crossroads. Will we move forward and keep the momentum building or do nothing. He wants us to move forward with the dream team. "RFPs yes, but I firmly support this effort." I'm sorry, but that seems a contradictory statement.
"I want to see a plan and investors. I want it to move forward, but you need a private entity to invest."
"I talk to people in the community and when I mention Sora it puts stars [money signs] in their eyes. The community seems to rather work with a private partnership than the city. [They are hoping for money.] Are we worth $30M in investment? I think we are. We are having an executive session next week with the legal team and we will have an RFP draft. The budget has to be finalized by May 21st, so something will be decided by then."
We did keep in touch with the mayor. [That's not a weekly report.] Eighty percent of the work we have done in the past has not been by RFP. We have done our part. Together we have spent $250,000. The city should match it. [Really? No formal agreement yet.] Sole source is acceptable with our special services, our contacts, and our networks. In the past, "we just did it!" We are offering 80-years of combined business and contacts. No RFP can provide that. I am just asking for the opportunity for Bruce...not the money. [Another one claiming he isn't in it to make a profit, which everyone knows is nonsense.]