We've Moved

Ecology of Absence now resides at www.preservationresearch.com. Please change your links and feeds.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Meeting on McEagle North City/Downtown Project Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night, there will be the big truly public meeting on the McEagle north side/downtown project. Here are the details:

Time: 7:00 p.m. Thursday, May 21
Place: Central Baptist Church Educational Center, 2837 Washington Avenue (across from the church)

While open to the public and the press, Tim Logan of the Post-Dispatch reports that organizers (it's unclear is that means McEagle or elected officials) have aimed this meeting toward 5th and 19th ward residents. Apparently, every 5th and 19th ward registered voter was supposed to receive a mailer about the meeting, but as of mail time yesterday residents whom I know had not received any such thing.

Realtor Myrtle Bailey is serving as "public engagement coordinator" for the "North City Development Project" (for whom she works is unclear) and told Logan that 5th and 19th ward residents will be given the first crack at asking questions.

I understand the aim at the 5th and 19th ward residents, but according to McEagle this project will include a large section of the 6th ward as well as parts of the 3rd and 7th. Outreach ought to be aimed ward-wide, and all elected officials who represent those wards engaged in the first and last public meeting before McEagle plans to submit a blighting study to the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority on May 26.

Realistically, the project transcends ward boundaries. The project will be one of the largest in the city's history, may include unprecedented tax increment financing and sale of hundreds of acres of city-owned land. If this were a simple matter of a private developer developing land that he owned on his own or with moderate incentive use, the aldermanic system could handle the deal. However, this project falls outside of the aldermanic system -- or severely overloads it. Every city resident and alderman has the right to be part of the process.


Jeff Seelig said...

I'll be there for sure.

Anonymous said...

does the submission of the blighting study to the LCRA on the 26th constitute a public review and conversation of the study or is it simply a submission date that puts it in the process for being voted as an ordinance by the board of aldermen?

samizdat said...

I'm having a difficult time accepting the notion that the residents of these two wards and their opinions should take precedence over those of other City residents. If someone from Arizona were to propose damming the western end of the Grand Canyon, and suggested that I should have little to no say in the matter, or that their opinions are more imoportant than mine because of geographical proximity, I would have to call BS. This is my City as well, and don't think any one individual or ward should be given first shot at expressing their mind. We are all in this together, and as soon as we let the pols and their courtiers place these artificial barriers between us the citizens and neighbors, we have already lost the first battle. Community involvement should include all parties, if only for the necessity of having more voices and eyes to provide questions and conduct oversight. This is just another divide and conquer tactic, we should reject it utterly.