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Dear Democrats:I have been following the two bigger issues facing you as council member is the past few weeks. On the hotel issue, I applaud you thorough research into the issue of the incentive package, financing and quality of developer. If you have solid, demonstrable evidence of serious deficiencies in any of these issues, you should certainly air your evidence publicly and take action to correct the matter. However, unless there is such evidence, I perceive more support for moving forward on the project. Politically, I always supported the Ford Center Project because I believed it would prove to be very popular and successful. I believe it has proven to be a success and has certainly revitalized the downtown. I also believe a first rate, adequately sized hotel is essential for promoting the convention business in Evansville. I am certainly no expert on hotel sizing, but believe the quality issue is critical to attract top end convention business. The State Democratic Party has decided to move the State Convention to a site outside of Indianapolis in alternate convention years. The 2014 convention will be in Indy. The 2016 convention is presently planned to be elsewhere in the state. I would love to be a part of a movement to bring it to Evansville in 2016. Having a great hotel with the available facilities there now and having a Democrat Mayor would certainly improve our chances.On the recent issue involving the police interaction with the firefighter, I support Connie on her position 100%. While she and I have had a difference on a political issue, I have never had any lack of respect for her leadership skills and dedication to your community. I am very uncomfortable with the way the police department handled this matter. Because of the serious nature of the matter and its probable volatility, an outside investigating agency (VCSD of ISP) would have been a better option for the city administration to have taken. This matter received world wide publicity. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2395250/George-Madison-The-moment-African-American-firefighter-pastor-handcuffed-waved-police.html Since the city did not seek an independent inquiry, the council might consider appointing a blue ribbon committee of Evansville Citizens to do an independent investigation and submit a report to all citizens as to its findings. On it face, what happened in this incident just doesn’t square with me. I know only what has been reported by the media but I am still uncomfortable with it.You may already do it, but I believe Indiana Law allows you to caucus as a group on political matters. This might be a vehicle whereby you as a group can discuss the political aspects relating to Council issues and be able to share your personal views with each other outside the public arena.Whatever action you take on these important issues, do your very best as I know you will. Treat each other civilly, remember, we agree on probably 95% of the issues you face. I look forward to working with you in the future. Thanks for taking the time to let me weigh in on these matters.Democratically yours,S. Anthony Long,Eighth District Democrat Chair
POSTED BY THE CITY COUNTY OBSERVER WITHOUT OPINION, BIAS OR EDITING.