Telling Exchange in Arnold

28 Nov

The Arnold City Council was recently surprised to learn that the new CVS project near Hwy 141 and Jeffco Blvd will cost the city $3.9 million, $1 million more than they thought. It turns out that former city administrator Matt Unrein learned about this discrepancy back in May 2012, but it was never communicated to the council. The developer of the project spoke with the council about this at their last meeting, and this interesting exchange occurred (4240 mark on the 11/15 video):

Councilman Phil Amato to the developer: “Sir, you’ve got a problem here, as far as I’m concerned”

Councilman Ken Moss: “He doesn’t have a problem, the city has a problem.”

What you see here is Amato, who loves to take credit for things he has a dubious claim to, blaming someone else for something that was clearly caused not by the developer, but the city (he also says oh, I voted against this, in order to try to distance himself from the problem). Then you have Ken Moss pointing out that Amato is incorrect. This is the same Moss that might, in the past, have been on Amato’s side, before Amato and his pals attempted to strongarm him off the council a few weeks ago. Does that play a role here? It’s interesting to see how these side issues play out on the council floor.

It’s also interesting to see how things can go wrong when the city dishes out money for development projects. This is a little reminiscent of what happened back on July, when the city found out, hey, we have to pay $200,000 for a sewer line upgrade at the Anheuser-Busch can plant, after agreeing to subsidies for the plant’s expansion in February. From the linked article, it even seems like Unrein might have known about this expense, too, for some time without telling the council. In the end, he might be costing the city more than just his big severance.

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