Home Political News Councilman Al Lindsey Announces NO Vote on Hotel as Proposed

Councilman Al Lindsey Announces NO Vote on Hotel as Proposed

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City Councilman Al Lindsey
City Councilman Al Lindsey

People of Evansville and my 6th Ward constituents,

I would like to go on record today as having decided to vote no on the proposed hotel deal.  My fellow Councilman Conor O’Daniel was clear in his analysis that this is not a good deal for the people of Evansville and I intend to join him in voting no.

Councilman O’Daniel did his analysis and made his decision on the merits of the project under the assumption that HCW of Branson, MO would be forthcoming with the financial information that our Finance Chair Councilman Friend requested to vet the project and the developer.  Even with his mind set that developer may well check out Councilman O’Daniel decided this was not a good deal.  I agree with him.

This weekend the City Council got an email from Crowe-Horwath telling us that HCW had demanded that the Evansville City Council and the Mayor were  not to be granted access to any of their financials.  Crowe then declined the opportunity to earn $15,000 to vet this project for us.

Folks, this is the last draw. HCW is willing to accept $20 Million from us as an incentive to build a hotel and even more money for parking that is only needed if there is a hotel but they are not willing to show us their financial information.  That is simply not good business.

My momma did not raise me to be a fool and I have the common sense to see that there is no reason to go forward with this developer under these unreasonable conditions.  Let’s just hold a vote and be done with it.

I do support a hotel on that empty lot and hope to see a serious developer that won’t keep secrets from the City Council who has to fund this project comes along.  Until such a developer does come along with a deal that is good for Evansville, count me among those who will be voting no.  The sooner we can vote this bad deal out the sooner we can get on about the business of finding the right partner for the right project.

 

Al Lindsey, 6th Ward City Councilman

Evansville, IN

13 COMMENTS

    • No doubt about it jbyrd. Mr. Lindsey has become a real leader on the City Council. Would not be surprised if there is a push for him to take major leadership in the Central Committee.

  1. Okay, let’s assume the deal is dead. Who among the council members now will step up as a leader to invite new bidders and administer the process start to finish? Will John Dunn be among those bidders? What is the maximum percentage of subsidy for which a majority of the council members will vote yes? Same question for CCO, what is the maximum subsidy that the editors will endorse with their blessing? How long is it acceptable to the council for the land to lay vacant?

    • We have openly stated that we fully support the investment of infrastructure and have also stated that we would consider further incentives as they merit consideration. We can’t commit to a maximum until we see a proposal. Bundling things like retail and apartments are not things that we think are appropriate so assume we will view such things with scrutiny. The obscure the reality and they do so on purpose.

      The mistake started when the RFP was written to guarantee that the hotel was a financial loser. Why not develop an RFP that says the City will contribute land and infrastructure for a hotel project and invite bids from developers who have built and managed hotels before and who are willing to share their financial information in advance so they can be pre-qualified. This does not have to be any more complicated than being pre-qualified for a mortgage.

      We however find the continued Earthcare vetting procedures to be unacceptable. Unless there is a vetting process put into place for the City Council and the ERC in advance we will be reluctant to support anything. The insanity needs to stop and now is the time to stop it.

    • Many of us in the Citizens of Evansville Against a Taxpayer Funded Hotel Facebook group have been saying we’d like to see a contract with a developer for a 120-150 room hotel with some public support for infrastructure and a gift of the land itself, but NO SUBSIDY.

      We feel like that is the intelligent, workable compromise that almost all Evansville citizens could feel good about and be proud of.

  2. Al, I’m very proud of your stance on this issue. I agree with other bloggers on this page that you are becoming a real leader on city council. Thanks for standing up for the taxpayers of this community.

    • Mr. Lindsey should be President of the City Council. He’s been right as rain on almost every issue since elected.

  3. Amazing job Al Lindsey. You are doing an amazing job respresenting our 6th Ward citizens!!!

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