Monday, October 22, 2007

Council Bill 2007-335

Vincent David Jericho of KSGF announced this morning that Rick Baier, the Principal of BC Development will be addressing City Council tonight.

According to an October 13 story in the News-Leader, here:

"The potential departure of BKD changes the economics of the project, and it would not be feasible to build only a hotel at the site, both Huffman sand Baier said....

Because Hammons has exclusive control over food and beverage service, a major revenue source, at the expo center as part of an operating agreement he signed with the city five years ago, the out-of-town developers said."

At an October 8 City Council meeting, Becky Spence, a local Springfield partner to BC Development, stated that several City Departments told someone from BC Development that it was a "done deal" and that the city already had a verbal agreement with John Q. Hammons.

And the puddin' got thicker when Baier was quoted by The Springfield News-Leader, here, on October 10:

"Contradicting claims made by his business partner Monday, a Kansas City developer said Tuesday that city officials had not told him a downtown hotel deal was going to John Q. Hammons.

"No, it wasn't inside the City Hall," said Rick Baier, principal of BC Development, a day after Becky Spence said in front of the Springfield City Council that city employees told the firm about Hammons having locked up the deal.

Baier said sources outside City Hall led him to believe that Hammons, a well-known Springfield developer, would get the job on a piece of city-own property."

On October 12, City Manager Bob Cumley wrote that Spence's "unfounded allegations made in a public meeting impugn the integrity of all city employees....To have someone make false statements in a public meeting is totally unacceptable and will not go without response." The letter demanded an apology from Becky Spence.

Jericho has been telling his listeners the last page of this story has not yet been written. Today he is calling for "the peanut gallery" to attend tonight's City Council meeting. He has suggested that patrons of the peanut gallery bring peanuts with them since they were mentioned by Mayor Carlson, albeit not specifically, at a Council luncheon on October 16 where the term sheet for the sale of the former arena site to John Q. Hammons was revealed, Carlson said:

"Any day of the week, I'll bet on people that have got real money at risk, time, money and effort to spend as opposed to the people from the peanut gallery."

See the quote in context here.

After a public hearing tonight the City Council is expected to vote to accept the terms of the agreement for the sale of the former arena site and parking garage to John Q. Hammons.

"This is the beginning of the end of the Care Bears," says Jericho.


Anonymous said...

The best was to apologize at a City Council meeting:

Simply say,

"Pardon me, I made a mistake, and if you've never made one, you cannot possibly know how I feel."

Anonymous said...

Pardon me.....

The best WAY to apologize at a City Council meeting:

Simply say,

"Pardon me, I made a mistake, and if you've never made one, you cannot possibly know how I feel."

Jason said...

I'll be very interested to see if Mr. Baier's comments vindicate Mr. Jericho.

tom said...

It will be quite interesting to see which side of this story is believable. At this point in juncture I believe I'm siding more with the conspiracy nutjobs Tony Messenger, then the conspiracy nutjobs VD Jericho. For all the cities woes and backroom dealings, I'm not yet sold on the idea that Becky Spence is as pure as the wind driven snow.
There is a mole in the woodwork on this agreement and I can't buy a massive cover-up, especially since JQH already had a large portion of set asides NO matter which developer got the go-ahead. Anyone that believed it was going to be someone other than JQH hasn't followed city politics.

Anonymous said...

When JQH already had control of the first 90 feet east of the Expo Center, it is a bit difficult to have a fair competition for anything.

Does anyone have a fresh copy of all the cost overruns & profits from the Performing Arts Center, so that we know what to look forward to on this new project??

John Lilly said...

Rick Baier took the easy road and did not name the source of his information at the council meeting. Becky Spence got hung out to dry.