[Vision2020] Head Exploding over URA hearing

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Thu Feb 26 14:45:15 PST 2015

True, so true, Rose.

This decision turns my stomach.

By warped application of the system, those committee members you mention have publicly stated that another restaurant is more important to the people of Moscow than access to a local low-cost mental health facility.  And when the next "John Lee" makes his presence known . . . what then?

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"There's room at the top they are telling you still.
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill."

- John Lennon

> On Feb 26, 2015, at 2:25 PM, Rosemary Huskey <donaldrose at cpcinternet.com> wrote:
> This morning I attended the URA  review of proposals and decision meeting.  Sangria won the bid. The following facts (with an occasional opinion) remain relevant:
> 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 financed.
> 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 hoot.
> 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                                  http://moscowura.com/content/WYSIWYG/Project%20Proposal%20Application.pdf
> Request for Proposal                                                     http://moscowura.com/content/WYSIWYG/RFP%20for%206th%20&%20Jackson%20Property%2012-01-14.pdf
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