WHOA, TIME TO STEP BACK AND ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT BEALE STREET LANDING
I have had my doubts about this project for some time since I started investigating the Riverfront Development Corporation. When I first asked for information from the RDC in an open records request in September 2005 I was refused the information. However, they later relented and I got a financial statement dated June 30, 2005 which I have attached. rdc financial statement 2005 10-18-05 Note 8 details a donation of land on the south end of Mud Island. Also I have attached a schedule of 2005 salaries and benefits showing Benny Lendermon with a base salary of $172,000 and a bonus for performance of $25,000. Also Dorchelle Spence shows a salary of $98,000. rdc salaries & benefits 05
In 2006 the City Council removed the Land Bridge component of the Memphis Riverfront Master Plan endorsed in 2002.
I recently went back and made a spreadsheet, which I have attached, using the 2006, 2007 and 2010 City of Memphis CIP budgets. 122009 cip summary by project In it you will see that very little has been done or spent other than some planning expense and stabilization. One thing is obvious in looking at this spreadsheet and that is that the Cobblestone Landing project has been ignored in favor of the Beale Street Landing Project. The contract for the Beale Street Landing steel has not been executed as of December 21, 2009 according to sources.
I believe that there should be a River focus for downtown, but which one? Memphis on the bluffs is the River. It’s power and beauty are wonderful. I believe that it is best viewed from the bluffs downtown and to the bluffs to the south, and from the west side of Mud Island.
The Riverfront work is only about 20% complete and now is the time to put it on hold, call for an audit of money spent and committed and form a citizen RIVERFRONT CONSERVANCY group to make a plan that has broad public support, contains no self interested parties and with the objectives of a lower cost, lower maintenance, historically accurate and publically usable and accessible riverfront. The present plan keeps growing in cost and now is the time to put it on hold and come up with a plan that makes sense and that is not so costly and controversial.
I have attached the links to the Friends for our Riverfront site, the Memphis Cobblestone site and the RDC site. Read through it and let me hear from you and let your City Council members and Mayor Wharton know what you think.