Thank you, Les and Jackie Atwood, for your recent letter to the editor.
Regarding the predevelopment agreement for the Villages of Riverwalk, my mind just keeps churning on this document, which received a 4-1 approval vote by Bradenton's City Council on Sept. 19, 2014. Does anyone ever wonder why the city seemingly wanted to keep the issue off the agenda until just hours before council session?
So there must be something about that agreement they didn't want the public to know; why else be so secretive? I read the agreement and contemplated some of the provisions the developers requested, specifically things the public didn't learn until after it had been approved by council, and may not yet be fully exposed.
I am not an attorney, but the agreement says "... the City and the developer shall use best efforts to cause an exchange of lands ..." This refers to Glazier Gates Park exchanged for land owned by the developer. What they called a "Predevelopment Agreement," which sounds respectable enough, could be deemed by some as collusion.
Never miss a local story.
Are these "best efforts" of the same caliber as they used to contact homeowners to purchase their properties? You know, the best efforts which never happened?
It is far easier and less expensive for the developer to "force" the City of Bradenton to acquire homesteaded lands through eminent domain for the park relocation. The developer then does not have to negotiate with contrary residents, they merely increase their campaign contribution to the career politicians for their favors.
The developers have begun to gobble up the east side waterfront for gated communities with private marinas, and this development will further their legacy. As the developers are granted their wish list, the public access rights are eliminated.
Make your opinion known to these elected officials; there needs to be documentation.