[Vision2020] Head Exploding over URA hearing

Rosemary Huskey donaldrose at cpcinternet.com
Thu Feb 26 14:25:43 PST 2015

This morning I attended the URA  review of proposals and decision meeting.
Sangria won the bid. The following facts (with an occasional opinion) remain


1.        No financials from Sangria were available at the hearing but the
partners in the business explained they have "saved every bit that they
could over the last several years."  I award them an A+ for their creative
use of vague and meaningless financial remarks and an F for providing no
public financial plan.

2.       The twenty parking spots shown on the Sangria proposal are intended
for the mini-apartment dwellers, not the restaurant patrons.  Restaurant
patrons will  "need to find their own parking"  . . it is not an issue for
Sangria owners.

3      There was no mention of handicapped parking places being reserved
but, given the lack of obvious interest in providing apartments for mobility
limited residents (the loft bedrooms are accessed by a steep looking
stairway), this was clearly not an issue for Sangria owners either.
Apparently only young, glittery, able-bodied professionals or old, rich,
nimble folk need apply.  There was no mention of the proposed cost for
renting 300 square feet in downtown Moscow, but I doubt any of the
restaurant or bar staff will be living there.

3.        Expressing a deep love of Moscow while sentimentally choked-up and
bravely holding back tears  became  a winning strategy - that and the large
dinner plate size artificial flower plunked on top  Ms. Sangria's head
brought home the bacon.   As much as it pains me to comment on fashion
choices (and as an old Quaker lady who hasn't paid any attention to fashion
since 1963 with absolutely no notion of what is stylish because I wear fat
pants and long sleeved knit shirts - neither of which are stylish but they
are serviceable), I still think professional attire is always appropriate
when appealing for a place at the public trough.  

4.       The tip-toeing pick and choose attitude of David Drown and Art
Bettge ignored requirements that didn't include "entertainment value"  and
connections with the Hello Walk  (Hello Walk ??? Whose bright idea was that?
What a stinker!  Am I safe in supposing that that notion is straight out of
the latte sipping liberals catalog of must haves?)  There will be wall to
wall drunks stumbling back to campus after an entertaining Friday night.
Will Sangria staff have to clean up the vomitus on the path?  If not, who?
I'm nominating the committee members who voted for Sangria, Unfortunately,
the majority of the committee were not swayed by cogent reminders of URA
construction time-lines (only Gritman met that requirement), the costs to
tax payers (only Gritman was not asking for a dime and had estimated their
property tax payment  $70,000 + a year). Sangria did not announce what share
of tax payers money they would be using or how the project was to be

5.       Brandy Sullivan, was unable to reach a vote because she felt
"unprepared' to make a decision.  What???????

6.       John McCabe excused himself at the beginning of the hearing to
avoid a possible conflict of interest, (a forthright, legitimate, and honest
statement.  Good on him.).

7.        Steven McGeehan supported the Sangria proposal with little comment

8.       The only bright lights and fiscally thoughtful members of the
committee, Dave McGraw (Latah County Commissioner) and John Weber (City
Council Member and Moscow business man) supported the Gritman proposal.
They were concerned about the area-wide impact of affordable, accessible
medical care and responsible fiscal leadership.   Clearly no one else gave a


This whole process was as close to a hot mess as can be.  There was never an
opportunity for community input,  there was a lack of uniformity in what
elements counted and which could be ignored (particularly egregious), and an
elitist overlay which was particularly offensive.  Please take the time to
click on the links below to see how deliberately obtuse David Drown, Steven
McGeehan, Art Bettge, and Brandy Sullivan were this morning.  And, how
grateful I am for members like John Weber and Dave McGraw.  I believe they
actually read the requirements and the proposals!

Project Proposal Application

Request for Proposal
ty%2012-01-14.pdf> &%20Jackson%20Property%2012-01-14.pdf

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