The one message we hope will rise from a review of the project is that our township needs a process that it is more objectively inclusive, that addresses community issues beyond tax revenue, and that includes transparent evaluation of design and financials before deals are struck.
Today we have a gap–but at least the history tells us why.
Several people questioned if the town had looked at the “bigger picture” in the plan, in terms of what the future holds for the Village’s overall economic and development status. Diana Leo, a resident, said she thought there was an audience mandate for the town to perform an independent economic feasibility study before going forward. “I don’t agree,” said the Mayor
The was reported by the Maplewood Patch in early 2012.
A year later, during the approval of the Redevelopment Plan in 2013 resident Julie Martini asked if there was a financial analysis done for the project. Mayor Victor DeLuca said there is not, because the numbers will be determined by the purchase price and future usage and tax revenue specified in each of the proposals, which the township will receive and review later in the process….Martini also asked whether the public will be able to review the various proposals once they are received. DeLuca said that due to the competitive nature of the bidding process, that would not be possible. (see Alternative Press coverage)
Two years later, as the Clarus Maplewood proposal was in its early days of review, we inquired with the Township as to the analysis that was done. The response indicated that no analysis was available.
We’ve worked hard to look at options at this site comprehensively. We hope our Township processes will close this gap and be improved in the future!
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This site chronicles the five year public process leading to the construction of Clarus Maplewood. We recently re-arranged it to provide easier access chronologically or by topic area. Check out the changes here.