Yesterday the Virginia Beach City Council approved, on an 8-3 vote, a non-binding terms sheet for a new office tower at Town Center on the block where the Beacon building now stands.
While I'm supportive of Town Center, I have a couple huge problems with what came out yesterday http://hamptonroads.com/2008/03/beach-gets-first-look-finances-new-town-center-tower
First, the City's project manager for Town Center, Mark Wawner was asked by Councilman Bill DeSteph why the City was leasing a floor in Town Center instead of buying it, which would be cheaper. Wawner's answer: to make it easier for the developers to get financing. Hel-lo, Mr. Wawner: who are you working for here, the developer or the taxpayers? If it's the people who cover your paycheck, you don't do something so stupid!
Second, Mayor Oberndorf explaining her "Yes" vote: "When I committed to the project, I assumed we would continue...until it was completed." Excuse me, Meyera, but that's the mentality that got us a mess at 31st Street: signing off on anything just to get a project done. As stewards of the public's finances, you don't play games with other people's money.
I hope the floor purchasing issue can be taken care of before the final contract.