Breaking News: Councilman John Friend Announces He Cannot Support Downtown Hotel


Over the past several months, I have struggled with the proposed convention hotel, 
especially the financial commitment that would be required to make this happen. 
In light of the many financial challenges of our community; considering that I must act 
as a gatekeeper of the public financial well being, prioritizing projects is essential. 
Consequently, at this time, I will not be able to support the proposed hotel. Once we
have determine the magnitude of our commitment to mandatory expenditures, emphasis 
on the Downtown Medical School, I may be supportive for a convention hotel provide 
it meets our budgetary constraints and makes good common sense. This decision has not
been easy knowing that our community must move forward and I will always be mindful 
of this noble cause. I will be totally committed and will support the administration's
efforts in locating Indiana University's Medical School in our Downtown. This has to
be our number one objective.


John Friend
Finance Chairman
Common Council of Evansville, IN



    • No, you are one big disappointment. I truly do feel bad for people like Mr. Phyllip Davis today. I know what it’s like to watch as vote after vote comes in and it’s against you and there’s nothing you can do about it. I really do hope he picks himself up from this and helps bring back a better plan.

      But I feel no sympathy for you or Winnecke. Today, karma has shown that she is still around. It’s about time one of these government boards actually took the time to fight the mayor and the city on these “visions” that have never been popular with anyone not involved with special interest politics. I hope this signals the end of rubber stamping as I saw first hand with the Parks Board.

      While you and your pals wasted all of your time on this stupid pie in the sky hotel, Roberts was demolished, Mesker is sitting trashed, and the ball fields are now going to be out in the boon docks just to name a few. And oh yea, there’s a half billion dollar + sewer bill sitting there too.

      I can’t wait til 2015.

        • Chairman Wayne Parke, please tell me that you don’t support whoever is behind this name. This is the most elitist white collar arrogant comment I have read on here in quite a while and I’ve read quite a few. How does working in a blue collar job eliminate someone from telling you that they are tired of chicago style politics? This comment just further illustrates the point.

          When one is to wonder why young professionals don’t relocate here they should look no further than these comments that downgrade and attack hard working people who are trying to make ends meet while supporting their community.

          I understand this is free speech but I sure hope the city-county observer takes a position against this. I feel like comments like this one and the one from Mycroft belittling Phyllip Davis over things that happened many years ago are not something we as a community should want others to see when they look at Evansville.

      • It seems to me the failed City/County Merger is another example of where the administration should have learned its lesson. The people are sick and tired of back-room deals and no planning. If they had come up with a plan and showed how the merger was going to save money, it would have passed.

        • That consolidation fiasco is Exhibit A for why I would like to see Indiana become a R & I state (referendum & initiative). Imagine how nice it would be to be able to rely on the citizens of Evansville and not some yes man gov’t board for making these types of decisions? I’m thankful for the city council we have but overall, we need more referendums like the consolidation one to send a message to local bureaucrats.

  1. Nice work, Councilman Friend. But honestly, the Administration made it IMPOSSIBLE for you to get behind such a deal. You are going to be called an “Obstructionist”, but hold your head high and be proud.
    You have “obstructed” a big-time Train Wreck, bragging rights if you ask me.

  2. I knew you had it in you, Sir. Thanks for all the amazing effort and leadership you showed on this issue.

  3. Wayne Parke you are the real disappointment. You have caused the conservative movement in Vanderburgh County major problems in the next election cycle.

    As a conservative Republican, I’m ashamed of you.

    • This is my fear as well. Wayne Parke’s leadership (or distinctive lack thereof) has set our Party back a decade. At a time when the Republicans should be feeling reinvigorated by the influx of energetic young, libertarian-leaning people, this Elk Lodge mentality has killed that enthusiasm.

      • We do need new leadership in the party Brad. Perhaps you or one of the other precinct committeemen who opposed this hotel gifting should run for the post next time around. Lack of youth is killing the conservative and libertarian movements around here.

  4. Helluva job John. Please give us a statement that you’re at least considering a run for mayor. Please act now before Ron does something crazy and picks a good ole boy to run.

      • One thing is for sure, with four NO votes on the books for this deal it is a female council member who will determine the fate of this folly. If either Connie or Stephanie are interested in the democrat nomination I am sure that they would have some listeners. Actually since Connie was in on the pinky shake meeting Steph Riley is the only electable female council member for the office of mayor. She sure has a head for numbers and knows how to vet projects. Those are two talents that have been missing for many years. If those two could make a joint statement to vote NO perhaps Connie would support Steph for council President for the next two years setting her up perfectly to run for mayor in 2015. I hope to see them stand together and put an end to this thing so we can start moving forward in a rational manner.

        • What are you saying? Riley WAS in on the pinky shake deal against Davis. There were a lot of good people who put their heart and souls into the Davis campaign. None of us will ever forget the times we walked door to door in this city and heard people telling us about the Turncoats’ desperate attempts to keep an honest guy out of the Mayor’s Office. Rick himself may have forgiven people like O’Daniel, Friend and Riley. But we NEVER will. You reap what you sow. Just don’t continue to lie about it. Own it. But don’t think for a second Ricks friends and family will allow any of the Turncoats to occupy the mayor’s office. Not on our watch.

          • riley was not working against davis, get your facts straight before you start spreading rumors

          • Riley back stabbed him. Period. End of story. She is unfit to be mayor on top of being a traitor!

          • Furthermore I have email – proof of her backstabbing – that I will disclose at a later date if she does run for mayor and tries the old “I was with Rick” plea to get his supporters. Lets not forget her association with Mr. Double Agent himself AJ. That alone is worth 100 years in the back stabbing penitentiary – for guilt by association.

          • As I recall, Friend indicated in the paper that you have to support the top of your ticket…go and research the quote in the CP….

    • Anybody but Williams. It appears my party is going to be sitting this one out with the eggs being placed in the Winnecke basket. Better find a dem that at least has some financial sense in them.

  5. Great decision Mr. Friend. The taxpayers won’t forget your stand on this issue.

    Mr. Parke why don’t you go in your rat hole and hide. You’re a loser.

    • Well said Richard. No matter how many names you create on here Wayne you’re never going to convince anyone anywhere that this hotel was nothing more than a waste of time and energy. You have gone against the conservative principles for which you supposedly stood on. You have established yourself as an Eville elite and I for one will not forget the way you treated as common people when I shall make my way to the polls to see your candidates on the ballot.

  6. Thanks John Friend, Dan Adams, Al Lindsey, and Conor O’Daniel for the no votes. Mosbey and Weaver it isn’t to late, but I don’t think you two even have a clue to what is going on.

    • It is too late. Mosby and Weaver have already shown they have no interest in doing a little thing called vetting. Even my man McGinn ignored it. Having them join the good side after they see the ship is going down changes none of this.

  7. Nice base hit, Mr. Friend, your batting avg. is improving, along with your creditability.

    • I’d say this was a ground rule, bases-clearing double. I’m proud of all these Councilmen. O’Daniel showed a lot of balls being the first to announce. Mr. Lindsey has been pretty consistent. I don’t always agree with Mr. Adams, but he’s shown himself to be a thoughtful man open to both sides of a debate, and that’s more than you get from some. (Need we really mention names at this point?)

  8. John Friends this is your finest hour. You have indeed enhanced your political stock in this community.

  9. John today is a great day for the taxpayers of this community. You, Dr. Adams, Conner O’Daniel and Al Lindsey have taken a stance against a bad hotel deal that would have wasted millions of local taxpayers dollars.

    Thanks for standing up for us.

    • Yes, but now the vote is just 4 opposed, 3 in favor. That leaves SBR and Connie Robinson. If one of those two votes ‘No’, Round # 4 of the Hotel drama is over. Will one of these ladies step forward, or will both swing to yes votes, and the Hotel gets built on a 5-4 vote?

      Announcer: “Tune in tomorow for another episode of ‘As the Hotel Turns”.

  10. Excellent Mr. Friend! Thank you!

    Wayne, Detroit is nice this time of year. I think you will find more people to your liking in that motor city.

    • I never thought I would see a day when I would cheer for a democrat and renounce a republican. That’s how crazy this city has become.

      • It’s a shame that the Dem Mayor candidate wasn’t elected. We could all be getting along and moving on.

      • I’m generally a libertarian leaning conservative but I side with the dems on this one. I feel wrong just saying that.

  11. Thanks to all who have given this project an honest chance and found that they could not support it.
    Even before the vetting collapse, it was obvious that the scope of the thing was too broad, scattered and rife with uncertainties.
    I will be thanking you all at the polls and will continue to support you till then.
    Again: Thank You. …

  12. Bottom of the ninth and the score is tied four votes against and 4 votes for this project( Robinson will vote yes). Stephanie Brinkerhoff Riley coming to bat! Hardball at it’s best. WOW I bet several people wish they had that $37M they pissed away to Johnson Controls to put to this and the Med Center.

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