According to this story in The Blade, the mayor has signed a letter of intent to purchase a portion of Southwyck Mall for $1 million.
He intends to ask city council to vote on the measure at tomorrow's meeting. Of course, I'm sure this will be voted on as an 'emergency' which means it will go into effect as soon as the mayor signs the legislation, rather than wait the normal 30 days.
Carty Finkbeiner then explains that Larry Dillin, who's been selected by the city to redevelop the mall, will have an option to buy the city-owned portion within 30 days.
So here are the questions city council should ask:
* why must the city purchase this property in the first place?
* if the owner of this portion is willing to sell, why not sell directly to Larry Dillin?
* where will the city get the money? The article says that the money will come from the Southwyck line item in the capital budget. However, nearly $1 million of that amount has already been allocated to the road, street sign and beautification projects. Exactly how much money is there in this line item?
* what happens if, in 30 days, Dillin does NOT exercise his option to buy?
When council makes its decision on this, I hope they'll remember all the other priorities for which the city has responsibility - likes roads and infrastructure. And didn't they just decide to borrow a ton of money to finish the MLK Bridge?