Tuesday, May 11, 2010

RDC knew for over a year and kept Mayor Lowery in the dark.

Memphis City Council committee votes against 2010 Beale Street Landing appropriation

By Amos Maki, Memphis Commercial Appeal

A City Council committee voted this morning against appropriating $10.5 million for the Riverfront Development Corp.’s Beale Street Landing project.

The request for funds in the current Capital Improvement Program budget will now go to the full council in two weeks with a negative recommendation from the CIP committee.

But here's the more interesting part:

Under questioning from Councilman Shea Flinn, Lendermon said the RDC and administration of former mayor Willie Herenton were aware of financing problems as far back as February 2009, months before RDC officials told council members about potential problems in November.

And it gets better. Although Herenton was briefed, Lendermon admitted they deliberately kept Myron Lowery in the dark while he was Mayor. Apparently they didn't want to usurp the next Mayor (AC Wharton).

Listen to the audio.

The best part: Benny Lendermon and RDC Chair John Stokes quietly signed the $9.6 million contract for the steel boat dock and ramp while Lowery was still Mayor, on August 28. No City official countersigned that contract. NONE.

Why the rush? If they were going to save it for the next Mayor, why did they have to rush into signing the contract while Lowery was still Mayor? Sounds to me like they wanted to lock in the next Mayor (Wharton) and foreclose on his options.

Perhaps they anticipated something hitting the proverbial fan.

Further readings:


Nighthawk said...

If you agree with the CIP Committee that this boondogle left over from the Herenton administration should not get a penny of further funding and should be killed, remember that the CIP Committee's vote is just a recommendation to the full City Council when it meets on Tues., May, 25.
The Council can override the CIP Committee and vote for full funding.
If you don't think they should, phone, write, or email the Council members to let them know how you stand.

Scott Banbury said...

I hope that Bennie is held personally liable for the steel contract. It's time to abolish the RDC and reinstate the Memphis Parks Commission, along with monthly PUBLIC meetings and citizen oversight.