The Mole #??


IS IT TRUE that the last act of the classic play that has turned into a cross between a tragedy and a Three Stooges Marathon played itself out at the meeting of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission?…that all of the commissioners were in attendance to watch the finale and did their part by voting 5 – 0 to rescind the agreement with Woodruff Hospitality LLC that functionally rescinded itself some time ago due to internal squabbling between investors and simply the weakness of the project itself?…that it has only been about 6 months since this same Evansville Redevelopment voted 5 – 0 to award the downtown Convention Hotel deal to Woodruff Hospitality LLC over White Lodging of Hammond, Indiana that built the new downtown Convention Hotel in Fort Wayne?…that not one elected official was in the room or on the committee 6 months ago and that not one elected official bothered to attend yesterday’s meeting?…that not one member of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission brought up the issue of VETTING 6 months ago when Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel was triumphantly announcing the unanimous decision of the ERC that he had made a deal to get Evansville a downtown Convention Hotel?

IS IT TRUE that with a CPA, a commercial loan officer, and a pawn broker all sitting on the Evansville Redevelopment Commission that we are somewhat mystified as to why there was no VETTING whatsoever for the developer before voting 5 – 0 to award the contract?…that we wonder if the CPA on the ERC has ever been involved in reading a pro-forma and questioning its assumptions?…that we wonder if the commercial loan officer has ever prepared a presentation for a loan committee and done the due diligence required to make a recommendation to either make or not make a loan to an applicant?…that to prosper as a pawn broker that the Chairman of the ERC has to make value and liquidity judgments every day?…that we understand how such a combination of talents are needed on the ERC?…that what we do not understand is why they do not seem to have utilized the talents that led to their appointments?…that the expertise of the other two members are not known to the CCO so we are curious to know just who appointed them to the ERC and why?

IS IT TRUE that the Evansville City Council has also sat in silence while this Three Stooges Marathon has played itself out?…that it is time for the City Council to re-assert itself as the elected stewards of the people of Evansville’s money and demand an end to this madness?…that the candidates for Mayor of Evansville and for the City Council also need to let it be known what they think about the lack of VETTING of any kind by the ERC and how they would propose to fix it?

IS IT TRUE that it is time for Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, the ERC, and the City Council to call a press conference to publically apologize to the people of Evansville for the utter failure of this disorganized chaos?…that the actions and inactions that enabled this Three Stooges Marathon to play out the way it has NEEDS to be thoroughly analyzed and the VETTING PROCESS needs to be established before going forward with anything else except of course removing the pile of debris that is now the Executive Inn?…that there are no acceptable excuses for these failures?…that there is only an opportunity to suck it up, admit the failures, and to put a process in place to assure that the people of Evansville’s time and money is never ever treated with such utter disrespect again.

IS IT TRUE that the VETTING process needs to begin by Vetting the Vettors?…that the way that members of the ERC are appointed needs to have a VETTING PROCESS as well?…that people who are of an accommodating temperament that would make a rubber stamp for any Mayor should never be appointed to this or any commission?…that as much as we need independent thought on the City Council we also need independent competent thinkers on the ERC and other commissions?…that lapdogs should be verboten?


  1. The public deserves to know the identity of the members of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission. The three mentioned in this article are: Greg Elpers, CPA with the firm of Harding Shymanski; Sarah Miller, Loan Officer with Old National Bank; Bob Goldman, Owner/Operator of Goldman’s Pawn Shop. Other members of the ERC are Jay Carter and Jody Philips (occupations unknown). Here is a memo from the citizens of Evansville to the ERC members:

    TO: ERC Members
    FROM: Citizens of the City of Evansville, Indiana

    ERC Members, we thank you for your time and service to the community by being a member of the ERC. As you know, in Evansville the Mayor reports to the Citizens of Evansville. The Mayor has appointed each of you to this commission, and you have failed utterly. We do not believe that this group of ERC Members can responsibly represent the Citizens re: the Arena and Hotel going forward, and we ask for your immediate resignation. Please do the honorable thing by stepping aside and let people with fresh ideas and no allegiance take over to complete these important projects.

  2. there ought to be at least 1 city council member appointed to chair any commission that has it’s fingers on my tax dollars. And yes, Beerguy, these people ought to resign for malpractice

    ERC board members: Do the right thing. Resign.
    Give the good folks of Evansville and Vanderburgh County a chance at competent representation. …

  4. A fish rots from the head down. Start with the mayor (who stinks the most), and work your way down to the tail. Never forget that poop rolls down hill, and the taxpayers always wind up at the bottom!

  5. Beerguy,
    I support what you say 100%; however, I take issue with something in your memo to the ERC committee. In it, you state that “in Evansville, the Mayor reports to the Citizens of Evansville.” Really? Does he? Has he? If so, why do I feel raped by this monstrosity that was placed in the midst of our downtown? Help me remember one thing that this mayor has done to help the citizens or give them a voice. Then again, you do say he reports TO the citizens. On second thought, you’re right. He reports (DICTATES) TO the citizens. Hmmmm…..and here I thought it meant reported to us. Dr. John-you’re right!

  6. Jody Phillips is an architect. He, like Miller, Goldman, and Elpers should know better than to rubber stamp things. Jay Carter appears to do something with a non-profit called SLF.

    By the way, isn’t Phillips the person that bought the Idea House that had $500k or so spent on it from the city for less than $200k?

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