For the record, my letter to redevelopment officials v.v. Dan Coffey’s for-pay parking lot on city property during Harvest Homecoming.


I e-mailed this letter at 8:36 a.m. on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. For previous articles on the topic, go here: The Redevelopment Commission’s meeting calendar has been scrubbed from the city’s web site, but somehow, somewhere, they’ll be asked about Coffey’s pocket-lining parking project.

Like sand in the hourglass, so are the days of our lives … in the absence of a newspaper.

To: Shane Gibson, interim Redevelopment director
To: Adam Dickey, Redevelopment Commission secretary

Good morning, gentlemen.

As has become widely known, during Harvest Homecoming the city-owned property at the foot of Bank Street was being used by the formerly Democratic councilman Dan Coffey to sell parking, supposedly on behalf of the Knights of Columbus (although the exact accounting of this remains unknown).

I’ve been trying to determine who granted Coffey permission to use city property for this purpose. Developer Matt Chalfant told me he had no contact with Coffey, and in any event, didn’t take possession of the property (presumably for his projected future construction) until after the festival.

The Board of Public Works and Safety publicly told me it was not approached and knows nothing. President Warren Nash suggested I ask Redevelopment.

Councilman David Barksdale told me he can’t remember it coming up at a Redevelopment Commission meeting, and observed that interim director Gibson might know.

I looked at posted minutes on redevelopment’s web site, and saw no mention. However, minutes for October have yet to be published (?), and I can find no calendar for the commission’s meeting dates, which (perhaps) have been changed from twice to once monthly?

I’m hoping one of you can shed some light on this. If the K of C actually received the bulk of the money for the cars being parked during Harvest Homecoming, that’s fine insofar as it goes, except there was no publicly stated process for determining which other worthy entities might undertake the effort. Not to mention the potential liability …

My question: Did the Redevelopment Commission, or someone on the city’s redevelopment staff, or one of you, or the mayor himself, issue explicit permission for Coffey to use public property for parking cars during Harvest Homecoming?

If yes, is there a record?

If no, then doesn’t this mean it was illegal, and if so, what does the city propose to do about it?

Thanks for your cooperation,