I was not at the council meeting last night. I am now officially bored with this whole Admiral Collingwood Place remediation agreement farce. It has however, been capturing the imagination of us local political wonks for the past couple of months. I will give you a layman’s update on where we are at as of last night, nevertheless.
As I predicted last week Scott Strandholt did not agree to the 18 month extension. Scott, Joe Gardhouse and Keith Hull are the only ones in town that are actually thinking about what is best for the town rather than the interests of one developer.
Mike Edwards threw one last “Hail Mary” at the situation by proposing a one year extension which would mean that the next town council will be able to deal with this situation early in their mandate. I have said from the beginning that this would be agreeable to me, but I know that there are the hawks in town that sense blood on this file and want nothing more than to see Assaff immediately bring in the excavators and start moving dirt. I now think that if Mr. Assaff has not found a way to develop or sell this property by May of next year he will be no more likely to want to fill in the hole and clean up the site then as he is now. Plus he will probably have a few of the above “Hawks” on council and will relish starting some good old fashioned “Lawfare” against all those that have done him ill. So maybe it’s best we get on with it now.
Anyway here is what happens next: The town has already voted so they are on board for the one year extension. I get the sense that a couple of the “Famous 5” have now started to see the writing on the wall and realize that if they continue to follow Assaff blindly down this road their political careers will be going the way of the dodo bird. So Assaff will realize that 1 year is all his pals can get him now so he will grab that with both hands and run. Not sure on Scott Strandholt. The one year was all he asked for in the beginning but he might be so sick and tired of this sorry affair and the bad press, he might not agree with any extension now. Remember the part that “brain dead” Nobody had been missing all along? That all parties have to sign off on this? Council has instructed both developers to go off and have another meeting and if still no agreement then they will have to enforce the existing agreement as is. Which means that the site will have to be remediated.
Don’t hold your breath on that one either, because if that scenario does actually come to pass the “Famous 5” will drag there heals as much as they can to avoid initiating enforcement. Mr. Assaff will not willingly bring in the excavators and start filling in the hole. I believe at that point this will go legal.
Remember this post:
As you can see lots of remedies for the town to enforce. But you will not see any of that happen while the “Famous 5” are on council this term or next. Three council members, the Deputy Mayor and the Mayor have actively blocked doing what is right for the community for a developer that has no firm development plan in place, no actual investors in place and no sale pending any time soon. So if you are sick of that mess at the entrance to our town you know what you have to do in October.