City Councilman Marty Jewell said last week that he was unaware of an ordinance that allows the city to accept outside offers to purchase city-owned real estate.
Turns out he voted in favor of the ordinance in 2005.
To recap: Rumors that the Fulton Hill Partnership, a local development group, is working on a deal to purchase City Stadium and build a shopping center on the property have stirred up a hornet's nest among nearby residents.
After the rumors went public, Jewell, whose district includes City Stadium, discussed the status of the project at a hastily organized community meeting at the Carillon last week.
With Mayor Dwight Jones looking on from the sidelines, Jewell concluded that the ordinance, which allows developers to fast-track unsolicited development bids to the city, is “not a very good piece of law.”
But as a freshman councilman, Jewell voted to approve the offending ordinance along with several other council members. First introduced in October of 2005, the ordinance requires any unsolicited offer to be submitted to City Council for approval.
Reached by phone, Jewell says he didn't recall the vote at the time of the meeting. “I believe it was a house-cleaning vote that brought us into line with state law,” he says. “And I don't think we've ever used it.”
For his part, Mayor Jones assured attendees at the community meeting that “no deal has been made.”