Hotel Deal is Dead: Five Council Members Announce Intention to Vote NO


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Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley became the 5th member of the Evansville City Council to announce that after careful deliberation she has decided to vote no next Monday night on the resolution for the City of Evansville to borrow $37.5 Million through a bond issue to provide incentives and infrastructure to give HCW of Branson, Missouri what Mayor Winnecke and the Evansville Redevelopment Commission agreed to.

Brinkerhoff-Riley joined her fellow council members Conor O’Daniel, John Friend, Al Lindsey, and Dr. H. Dan Adams in stating her judgement of the deal as unworthy of her support. In her statement Riley pointed to several reasons for her decision as the other four councilmen did.

The hotel vote was pushed by Mayor Winnecke until Councilman John Friend stepped forward to demand that a 3rd party vetting could be accomplished according to standard protocol. According to Crowe-Horwath the chosen developer HCW refused to provide the vetting information unless they had control over the report issued to the City Council and on the condition that the City Council and the Mayor could not see the materials.

Things have gone down hill since Sunday’s announcement that the vetting was not going to proceed. The first council member to announce a no vote was Councilman O’Daniel followed closely by Councilman Lindsey. This morning Councilmen Friend and Adams announced their intentions to vote no setting the stage for Councilwomen Riley and Robinson to make the final determination. Robinson has made no statement yet but sources indicate her leanings are to no.

Only Councilman Jonathan Weaver, Councilwoman Missy Mosby and Councilman Dan McGinn have announced support for the deal.

All of the members of the council who have committed to kill this deal are adamant that a hotel is the best use for this lot and that they hope for a developer to step forward soon with a deal that is more favorable to the people of Evansville and that can be fully vetted in a transparent way.

This is a developing story.


  1. Although one of my first thoughts are how gutsy it was on Mr. Friend to stand up to literally a sea of government cronies and how gutsy it was for Conor O’ Daniel to announce his no vote on the same day the mayor from Fort Wayne toured the area, let’s remember why we are here and how it all started. And without a doubt, Mr. Al Lindsey got the wheels turning on this by refusing to meet behind closed doors…

    Thank you Al! You’re always setting the tone by following the correct path, not the easy path.

  2. These five members deserve consideration for re-election, should they decide to run again for office in Evansville. They have listened to the People of Evansville, not our out of touch, self serving, opinionated, mayor.
    Now please work or spend that money on this looming Water Bill increase. Fixed income people can NOT afford a 40% increase in our bill. If that kind of money is needed, someone has been sleeping on the job for a long time. I know for a fact that the Water Department has always been the most profitable office in Evansville. Other departments have often borrowed from the Water Department.
    Thanks again to those with Evansville’s Residents best interest at heart.

    • So a few successfully made you forget the other bad deals they voted in favor or slid in? This is why they get votes.

  3. The Weinzapful/Winneke alliance of supporters, mostly Dems are throwing a hissy fit tonight. Their guy’s proposal got shot down in flames. Meanwhile the republican base is cheering the demise of a hotel and may be the entire administration of republican mayor.

    Only in Evansville.

  4. Anybody heard from the GOP Chairmen Wayne Parke? Looks like he got political egg on his two faces.

  5. Proof positive that I-69 should have been routed down the S.R. 231 corridor thru Owensboro.

    • It be talk like a pirate day so here be the deal with Wayne. It be the bottom of the ninth and the score is 6 -2 with 2 outs, the stands are empty and the cheerleaders are crying. The only thing left to decide is the final score. Shivver me timbers, Wayne’s boys have taken an arse whipping.

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