Thanks to City Council for voting down the Coliseum plan
2/28/2020, 6 a.m.
Re “Begin again: City Council majority strikes $1.5B Coliseum and Downtown development project, urging the administration to start over with public inclusion,” Free Press Feb. 13-15 edition:
A heartfelt thanks goes out to the five Richmond City Council members who voted the Navy Hill project down. They realized that this was not a viable project for taxpayers to be burdened with for many years to come.
Even a commission of experts that the council created to review this plan decided that the project was not viable and rejected it.
The majority of council was correct when they stated they would like more public involvement. I, along with others, was able to speak at some of the town hall meetings but there was hardly any public involvement in this project. It pretty much had been crafted by the time we saw it.
Some of the large corpora- tions were involved because they saw potential dollars would be available if the project was approved.
It also was mentioned that affordable housing would be created by the project. That never would have come into existence. The housing would have gone to whoever could afford it and also had good credit. This was just a ploy to help get this plan approved, but it did not work. City Council members saw through this smoke screen.
I am not saying the concept is a bad idea, but developers must be open to the ideas of the public and City Council before it is rolled out.
Let’s also look at more funding for the schools, homeless people, etc. If such vigor was shown in these areas instead of the Navy Hill project, we would have a better city and society.
Let’s do the right thing for the greater good and be more humanistic instead of materialistic.
ERNEST PARKER JR.