By Kathy Savolt -
At the end of a back and forth discussion among members of the Board of Trustees (BOT), they agreed to hold the evenings of January 29th and/or January 30th open. This will allow the public to comment on the proposals for the development of affordable housing on the site of the Hunter Tier parking garage.
With Mayor Sharon Torres urging that the BOT “do this right” because “it is important” and “there is no need to rush” and Trustee Lou Young stating he was ready to vote, it was clear members of the BOT were not on the same page with even a process and schedule of how and when they should proceed.
Trustee Nora Lucas, who cited her work experience responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), repeated her suggestion from their last discussion that the BOT needed someone with expertise in this type of real estate development to guide their decision-making. This suggestion was met with opposition from Trustees Leilani Yizar-Reid and Young until Village Attorney Robert Spolzino, citing a project for which his firm was providing legal assistance, agreed with Lucas.
Trustee Young wanted to hear from the proposers as soon as possible, stating that he was sure they had changes to their original submissions based on “what they heard from us.” He also wants the proposers to present to the public and take questions from them, with both proposers present for the entire meeting.
Lucas pointed out that such a process was “highly unorthodox” but Young persisted. The process for moving forward is still undefined and, with the Village Manager absent from this meeting, it was not clear who was going to manage said process. Meanwhile, someone will look for a consultant to advise the BOT.