I’m surprised that, with the hectic schedule our village trustees have, Greg Marsey has time to rewrite history. His One View in the Feb. 14 Wednesday Journal, titled “Setting the record straight on the Colt building,” should have been titled “Setting the record crooked.”
Here are some “straight facts” that Trustee Marsey didn’t mention:
1) He was originally in favor of demolishing the Colt building, but changed his mind after attending a back-room “compromise” meeting convened by one of the NLP’s principal campaign financers, Brian Farrar. (How does an unelected citizen grab this much power?)
2) He says that the project proposed by the developer would have been “more than twice the cost of buying the Colt Building.” Of course it was! The project being discussed was not the Colt building alone. It included New Street, four new corners of retail, redevelopment of Westgate, and a parking garage on North Boulevard with retail on the ground level and residences above. It was a visionary urbanistic project with vast revenue-producing potential, versus the reckless enshrinement of a white elephant.
3) He says the village “is not a real estate developer.” Come again? You voted to buy the Colt and issue an RFP for its development! He says the village doesn’t “have the expertise to be deeply involved in real estate development.” Hello! The NLP/VCA majority board has set back redevelopment of Downtown Oak Park while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to justify saving the Colt building. Is this not being “deeply involved?”
Yes, election season has indeed begun. Trustee Marsey is correct by stating that political debate is healthy–assuming the debate incorporates facts, and not self-serving spin!