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Yesterday we learned that the Centre City Development Corp. doesn’t even have the public records we’ve requested for seven weeks.

It should, according to the agency’s contract with the consultant who did the work we want to see.

The agency says the work remains in the hands of Keyser Marston Associates, CCDC’s primary consultant studying if downtown had enough blight to justify continued property tax subsidies.

CCDC cancelled the study after late-night state legislation passed in October continued downtown subsidies for an additional two decades, circumventing the public process that was underway. CCDC paid Keyser Marston and a consultant working for the company more than $100,000 before the work stopped.

Keyser Marston’s work could go a long way toward legitimizing the legislation that will funnel more than an estimated $1 billion in future downtown property taxes that could otherwise have gone to local schools, the county and the city’s day-to-day operating budget. If the documents prove blight, then legislation would have some firm grounding. If not, then redevelopment would continue despite there being little rationale for it.

Fortunately, there are rules laying out exactly what would happen to that work if CCDC ended the Keyser Marston contract.

CCDC had to give Keyser Marston 30 days notice that the agency was terminating the contract. After that, the consultant’s work became CCDC’s property. From the contract:

Prior to the effective date of termination, Consultant shall complete any and all additional work necessary for the orderly filing of documents and closing of Consultant’s Professional Services under this Agreement and shall deliver to the Corporation all maps, reports, letters, drawings, plans, calculations, specifications and other documents or records related to Consultant’s Professional Services. (emphasis added)

In short, the contract says the consultant’s work becomes CCDC’s property if the contract is terminated. If that’s happened, CCDC has no excuse for not having the documents.

To be sure, at this point I’m not entirely clear about the contract’s status. CCDC has said that it “cancelled” the contract. But the contract spells out different rules if the contract was officially terminated or merely suspended.

I’ve emailed CCDC Vice President Jeff Graham and spokesman Derek Danziger with questions about the contract’s status.

Please contact Liam Dillon directly at liam.dillon@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5663 and follow him on Twitter: twitter.com/dillonliam.

Liam Dillon

Liam Dillon was formerly a senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He led VOSD’s investigations and wrote about how regular people...

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