Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Letter to NuPo: Notes from Meeting about W-B City Parking Authority

This is a letter by Mark Robbins concerning the latest boondoggle by Wilkes-Barre City government.

1) Leighton met privately with some parking authority members prior to the meeting. When the issue of the Sunshine laws came up, Atty Murray Ufberg (Rosen Jenkins and Greenwald) provided a legal answer as to why it wasn't a violation.

2) Alan Wolstetter (Fox and Rothschild) showed up. Nobody knew if he was going to show or not. (J.J. Murphy's relative, Patrick Murphy, is an attorney at Fox and Rothschild.

3) Desman (Parking consultant firm) is supposed to give a valuation figure tomorrow (Wednesday). We will see if it is $20,000,000. My concern is consultants will often, in response for payment, tell you what you want to hear.

4) Wolstetter is still under the $10k cap imposed from the last meeting.

5) I questioned why, in the face of the report Josh Moyer wrote, they were still interested. I told them that once a deal was signed, the relationships between businesses and city parking will be altered forever. A private firm will not care to work with businesses. We are selling our city.

6) I asked to see the financials in regards to the $ 20,000,000 number. Apparently it was pulled out of a hat.

7) If there are no buyers, the city will have wasted $150,000 - $200,000 in money. That's a lot of money for a "no" answer.

8) Remember... 40 % of the fee ($8,000,000) will not go to revenue producing assets. It will go to retire debt. That is a brutal up front cost.

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