Monday, February 12, 2007

Grasping at memos

I read this on Sunday, and quite honestly, I just stood there shaking my head.

This is significant because almost EVERYTHING I've read on the Klockner Woods boondoggle since I started this blog has sent me sprinting for the computer. I read it, get ticked off/laughing/sad/scared/whatever, and I just have to write about it. This time, all I could do is shake my head, and wonder what they really expect to gain this time.

A previously un disclosed memo from a township planner has cast fresh doubts on the $4.1 million price the municipality paid for Klockner Woods, re kindling the bitter debate over the property.
The memo, written in December by township planner Allen Schectel, was not disclosed to Superior Court Judge Linda R. Feinberg before she ruled last week that the township is obligated to honor its deal to buy the land.
A township official called the memo routine and said the Gilmore administration had no reason to make the planner's opinion part of the court record because it does not affect the value of the property. But township council members are crying foul over the withholding of the document. The memo surfaced last week after council members learned of its existence and demanded to see it.
In the memo, Schectel raised questions about 12 of the 40 home lots identified by consultant Van Note-Harvey Associates.

So, let me get this straight- a township planning official disagreed with the professional surveyors' report and had questions, that memo wasn't disclosed to the judge, so the council is saying that if it was disclosed the judge may have made a different ruling?

HALF THE TOWN disagreed with or had questions about the lot sizes and yield in Klockner Woods. That's WHY an independent firm was hired to survey it. The official wasn't swayed by the independent firm's audit? Wow, I'm shocked.

I'm no lawyer, but I can't really believe that the judge would take this with more than a grain of salt.

(The township planner's boss, Director of Planning Lloyd) Jacobs said "there was no reason to" disclose the memo, because Feinberg was already aware that six lots needed variances and had already dismissed them as minor.
"The memo was an internal communication and is consistent with what the planner does on any application," he said. "All of the is sues raised in this memo were addressed by the judge in her ruling."

This council is frantically grasping at straws. According to the esteemed Darryl Isherwood in the article, the town has already spent over ten thousand dollars on their case and hasn't decided whether to appeal or not, which will cost even more.

For the sake of Hamilton property taxpayers, drop it. It's over. Stop spending more money on it. You want the town sufficiently pissed at Gilmore before the election and look like the good guys, we get it. Spend campaign money on that, not precious tax dollars.

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