Dear Mayor Newberry, Mr. Webb, and that other Mr. Webb:
Two weeks ago, we sent you a brief letter asking a few very simple questions about CentrePointe.
Like: Because financial markets from New York to Dubai have crumbled and CentrePointe will cost over $200 million and includes 50+ condos that each cost a million dollars or more, Where is that money coming from?
Five days later, we received a reply from one of your aides. She told us you had referred our questions to the Webb Companies.
That just raised new questions:
For one: Why is the Mayor of Lexington using a private developer as his press secretary?
Still, given your previous silence, we were happy someone in your office had at least said something.
And eventually, as promised, the Webb Companies sent a response. Of sorts.
This Tuesday, two minutes after the close of business, Dudley Webb's assistant forwarded us an internal email from Bovis Lend Lease -- the construction company -- addressed to Dudley Webb.
The letter discusses the permits needed to get started on construction, some of the red tape they are dealing with on the jobsite, and any other number of internal issues. It appears, from their language, that even if the money for the project is somehow still there, construction might not start until April. At about the earliest.
But Mayor Newebbery (and Messrs. Webb), this email didn't answer a single one of the questions we asked.
Interestingly, that letter was also sent to "Business Lexington" -- the weekly Smiley Pete publication -- who altered the email's content only so much as to make it appear to be an actual news article.
As disturbing as it is to live in a city where one private developer can act as both press secretary to the mayor and stenographer for the city's major business publication, it is not the Webb Companies fault. It is Mayor Newberry’s.
We asked you a few very simple questions, Mayor Newberry.
In return we have received answers to questions we did not ask, and no answers to the ones we did ask.
In the time between when we asked these questions and when you did not answer them:
Another Marriott hotel project has collapsed...
And the royal family of Dubai -- the widely-rumored but never confirmed source of CentrePointe funding -- have seen their country's economy collapse even further and to such an extent that they've been forced to take a massive economic bailout from a neighboring emirate.
What are we supposed to infer from these developments and your silence?
Have you just been too busy ignoring the scandal at Bluegrass Airport?
Or maybe you are simply unwilling or unable to address the basic questions we have asked.
So we'll just ask again: Where will the money for CentrePointe come from?
What separates this Marriott project from the other failing Marriott projects throughout the country?
Joe Sonka, David Schankula and Willie Davis