Friday, March 29, 2013

What's It Worth?

At Wednesday's Common Council Legal Committee meeting, city attorney Cheryl Roberts dismissed objections brought by The Valley Alliance that the City was giving away, for fifty years, its right to eminent domain. Among other things, she argued that the City of Hudson would never be able to afford to take the property by eminent domain. John Mason reported yesterday in the Register-Star: "Roberts characterized the notion as absurd. 'The port is too expensive to eminent domain,' she said, suggesting it might be in the neighborhood of $10 million. 'This property will never revert back to Hudson because we've exercised eminent domain. It's too expensive.'"

It's been suggested that Roberts' speculation about the value of the property was inappropriate, since, if the City of Hudson should ever find the political will to take over the port, a city attorney should not be on record as setting its value. But Roberts' suggestion that Holcim's Hudson holdings are worth $10 million raises another question: Is the City collecting property tax on $10 million from Holcim?

Holcim has a history of grieving its property assessment. According to Council president Don Moore, the Common Council went into executive session on February 11 to discuss the Article 7 that had been filed by Holcim protesting the assessment of its property. Yesterday, Sam Pratt did some research to find out Holcim's current assessment and discovered that Holcim's holdings within the city limits of Hudson total 116.6 acres (including the 9 acres to be conveyed to the City of Hudson), which are recorded as three parcels in the tax rolls. The total value currently placed on the three parcels is $3,220,600. That taxable value--a third of what Roberts estimated the price of the property would be--will be reduced by whatever value is set on the 9 waterfront acres being conveyed to the City.


  1. The correct question in regard to an eminent domain proceeding such as suggested here (a unique commercial operation in that working ports are rare) isn't the value of the property itself but the value of the business forced to shut down. So the value of the port itself isn't dispositive; rather, we'd have to purchase the land in Greenport where they own the source of the rock, the land they use in their business between that location and the port, the port itself and the entire surround thereto that they own. This is where the cost is -- and of course there'd be significant legal fees on top of the buy-out costs. Ten million dollars? Maybe, maybe not; maybe more. Who knows right now -- but we do know we don't have $500k for a new fire truck without going to the bond markets, we are trying desperately to finance a new HPD HQ and court house as well as a senior center. Money is clearly an object in way of the city realizing its dreams at the waterfront (and elsewhere). There's also the issue of what a municipality's engaging in eminent domain proceedings is perceived as in terms of its treatment of its citizens -- human and corporate. This has to be calculated into the equation by any responsible analyst I think.

    1. Perhaps even more than $10 million as you say, but maybe less too.

      I hasten to begin with the insistence that I've never been a fan of this eminent domain idea.

      That said, these cost claims for eminent domain have not been updated to reflect circumstances which were conspicuously avoided as a subject in the LWRP/GEIS, and have since come to pass.

      For the dollar figure, I will refer to a 2010 "My View" by our former mayor, in which he provided roughly the same numbers being tossed around today.

      Now to the red meat: in 2010-11, attorney Cheryl Roberts did not use her capacity as official GEIS "Responder" to properly and responsibly analyze a mining-related alternative then under development (and perhaps since completed) which would surely effect today's dollar figure for "taking" the port.

      The cost of the entire operation from mine to port would be effected by the operator's dependence on other means to export his product. Any alternatives in use would mitigate the degree of the taking.

      At GEIS 3.1.24, a commenter asked about a rail alternative which would obviate the need for the port altogether. The comment was submitted in March 2010.

      Roberts answered:

      "The DGEIS examined the railroad alternative (Alternative 2B) and found that it was not feasible due to the number of intermodal transfers required."

      But the public comment concerned an alternative that has already come to pass, or will soon come to pass, and not at all the specific alternative the Responder had debunked. The Response must have been meant for an unrelated comment which never got published.

      (Or perhaps Roberts even knew that the alternative was being planned when she wrote her GEIS Response. There's no way to know this, but there's likely not a single resident of Hudson who'd doubt it.)

      In essence we are still discussing fantasies about eminent domain in the terms of the obtuse Response at 3.1.24. Insofar as I am not a fan of eminent domain in this instance, I still want to see an honest debate.

      The claim of "10 million ... maybe more" certainly requires tweaking under the circumstances, but I don't for a minute expect anyone in city government to heed the thought, which is neither a recommendation nor a compliment.

  2. Please stop saying "9 acres" when it is 9.968 acres!

    THAT'S 10 ACRES!

    I also wish that people could control themselves and not pronounce the company name as "Wholesome." It is a Swiss-German company, thus: HOL-kem.

    Geez, can we think of any other ways to unconsciously advance their interests?

    A third Holcim property was not listed in the "title search" that I FOILed last week. These are documents for which I can find no order in the council's previous Minutes. Yes, there was a title search ordered by the council to be paid out of the General Fund in September, "[the] title search and insurance should not exceed $3,200.00," but something called a "title commitment" concerning the same land transfer was completed in June and reviewed in July 2012. It was titled "Holcim (US) to City of Hudson Property."

    As I alluded to yesterday, whatever the council thinks it paid for on 9/18/12, the "title search" that I just studied (and which our representatives apparently never ordered) was still having additions made to it earlier this month.

    And whether or not that "title search" which you can ask the City Clerk to see is considered complete, there's nothing about the previous ownership of any parcels discussed. So what kind of title search is that?

    Is it perhaps only the kind that Cheryl Roberts can order on behalf of the Common Council? You all know the kind I mean.

    One thing is for certain: your aldermen whoever they are cannot explain any of this. They are merely observers whose function it is to vote on resolutions, but not necessarily to understand them. I'll wager that Messrs. Moore and Friedman, who are otherwise up to their necks in this, cannot understand and explain what has happened.

    1. Whether one calls the land in question 9 acres, or 9+ acres, or 9.9 acres, or 10 acres, the legal blunders and public policy disgrace are the same. If this boneheaded move involved just one acre, or a hundred, the public’s concerns would be the same.

      To paraphrase an old cliché, someone's missing the waterfront for the weeds.


  3. Sam Pratt, who was experiencing problems with Blogger, asked me to post this comment for him:

    1) Unheimlich unfortunately is mistaken about the pronunciation of Holcim, whose name derives from the French word for cement, not the German. Just watch any of the company’s own corporate videos for confirmation, e.g.:

    2) John Friedman for some reason is focusing upon a very different question of eminent domain than the one most immediately at hand, and it has the effect of muddying an important issue.

    The use of eminent domain to acquire the entire Holcim property is one question; acquiring the 9 acres is another.

    The City acquiring the 9+ acres in question would *not* have the effect of shutting down Holcim’s operation—otherwise, the company would not be contemplating any exchange of that acreage.

    Thus it seems strange that such red herrings are being thrown into the discussion.

    The question currently at hand is why Roberts has overvalued the Holcim 9+ acres by a factor of 40 times, which can only hurt her own client in any current or future negotiation or legal proceeding.

    Meanwhile, the problem remains of any City attorney or official attempting to predict what may or may not be “likely” or necessary in the future. Tying future elected officials' hands with disincentives to exercise their Constitutional powers is both illegal as a matter of law, and unwise as a matter of policy.

    Over the next five decades, many things may happen. Some we can speculate about, others are completely beyond our ken.

    For example, the mining and cement industries might collapse due to economic or technological changes we cannot anticipate, any more than people in 1953 could accurately predict the world of today.

    Alternatively, Holcim or a successor might neglect or abandon their property, giving the City ample cause under precedents such as the U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo vs. New London to seize the property for economic development purposes. (Indeed, it could be argued that Holcim has already done so, leaving the wreckage of an industry, such as the giant rusted hopper, with trees growing on top, that closed in the mid-1970s to blight our waterfront. And in fact, there was virtually no activity at all on the overvalued dock except 1-2 salt deliveries for 30 years, from 1976-2006, until Holcim ginned up activity with O&G to put pressure on the LWRP—a transparent tactic the Council gullibly fell for.)

    Or, climate change/global warming or other natural disasters might completely reconfigure the waterfront, making it necessary for the City to relocate services or rezone.

    Or (far more likely) something will happen in our society or ecosystem that we cannot possibly anticipate today. It thus takes tremendous arrogance for the City's attorney to push the Council members into defending this sense of clairvoyance about the future.

    The City should not be giving away options for fifty years that all other municipalities enjoy and indeed consider useful tools to keep in their belts. That this common sense notion needs to be argued is just testament to both the demented nature of Hudson politics, and the extent to which the Council has become a captive of its own attorney’s echo chamber (held usually in Executive Session).

    At times it seems some of the Aldermen are in the grips of Stockholm Syndrome, with Roberts and Holcim as the hostage-takers.


  4. I wish that our more thoughtful Common Council members would have considered the political fallout surrounding the proposed land transaction with Holcim. To the everyday citizen who picks up the Reg-Star and reads the terms of the deal, it looks as though our elected representatives are OK with the idea of the aggregate industry using our city streets and our waterfront dock for the next five decades. What the aldermen are actually thinking is anyone's guess, but that is how the situation is being viewed by the general public. This lousy deal is at odds and totally out of synch with all the other good stuff that is happening in town. If I was CEO of a corporate polluter, I'd be looking at Hudson as a prime candidate for the siting of my facility, because the City has now sent a clear message that it will bend over backward to host any crappy business.

    1. You are making a mistake calling it a deal -- it's not a deal. Holcim is giving the land to the City. We don't have to take it but it's likely the only way to get it without taking it through eminent domain.

      As for anyone's desire for the continued operations -- I can only speak for myself but I'd love to see it all go away. If someone can explain to me how the City can simply banish a property owner using its property in a legal manner I wish they'd share it with me or someone else connected with the Council. Because I don't know how to do that within the law.

      It's a gift with strings. It's not the best gift in the world but in the end all the citizens of Hudson will own that 9+ acres -- and I can't think of better stewards. Am I to understand that you advocate keeping it in Holcim's hands?

  5. If Gossips readers would like to grasp the monumental stupidity and incompetence that underlies our Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan, check out the portion of the document that actually suggests that the 9 acres that is the subject of present discussions could be used as a public boat launch. There is absolutely no way for vehicles to make their way down to those little peninsulas of land-- they would have to share the dangerous Broad St. crossing with gravel trucks hauling 45 tons of rock, while also dodging the 28 trains that pass through that rail intersection daily. Then they would have to somehow navigate alongside the CSX / Amtrak right-of-way of the left, with Holcim's industrial loading operation on the right. Fire, ambulance and other critical vehicular traffic would have no way to access the proposed boat launch in case of an emergency. Strong tidal action in the river precludes the safe launching of watercraft. The whole scheme is ludicrous, yet somehow managed to be included in the final version of the LWRP document, in spite of repeated and vociferous outcries from the many citizens who participated in the process. And who put this nonsense into our waterfront plan? The same "land use" attorney that crafted the deal that would give Holcim a 50-year exemption from eminent domain. It's a lovely spring day, perhaps I'll go outside and take a walk before my head explodes.

  6. For goodness sake, IT'S 10 ACRES!!!

    (See survey map: "9.968 acres")

    Does everyone grasp how suggestible we are? This is how the city uses us against ourselves.

    And while we're on the subject, for the correct pronunciation of "Holcim" why don't we assist the confused public with a spelling shift too:


    What ever happened to intelligent activism? Has that gone corporate too?

    1. 9.968 acres is an area just under 10 acres, the size of which would be 37.33 x 37.33 feet.

      By all means keep saying "9 acres" if you want to help make their argument for them.

      But first ask yourself what they gain by misleading us in this way?

  7. Come on kids lets go to E. Jesus for a picnic. Oh ! watch out for the train. Uh oh watch out for those trucks coming from both directions ! Don't breath that dust and hold your nose past the sewer canal. Don't let Fido off leash or we could be arrested or worse !
    Wave to the next train again (so loud) I SAID WAVE TO THE TRAIN AGAIN
    This 10 acre "gift" is like the Trojan Horse was a gift to the people of Troy (Not Troy N.Y.)

    1. Well said.

      Not only were there never studies of contaminants at the former site of a Standard Oil distribution depot, there were no SEQRA-specified impact studies about increased use on the land and everything that implies.

      Today the city is obstructing access to a related document which the state's Committee on Open Government just told me it must hand over without delay.

      Earlier, one alderman emailed a later revision of the otherwise identical map to myself, Cheryl Roberts and presumably to others.

      In reply, Roberts acknowledged that this was indeed "the map," although she failed to notice what the alderman had also failed to notice, that the attached map was a revised edition of the same map which cannot have been cited as a reference in the council chamber two weeks earlier.

      Bizarrely, every alderman I have contacted about this is obstructing the state's instructions, even though any one of them could comply within minutes.

      Why is that? For one thing the document is likely a smoking gun, though surely not one which implicates the aldermen.

      The list of aldermen not willing to assist me includes the "cool" aldermen too, who you'd like to think better of (and if they're out of the email loop today, then I can prove that I've been asking them for days.)

      Anyway, the state says they must comply.

      Any of the aldermen can supply the document immediately, which the public must have immediate access to.

      Please contact your aldermen and do not accept any third party obfuscations by lawyers.

      Either they have it or they don't: a survey map concerning the acreage of the land transfer dated June 9, 2012.

    2. Gentlemen, you're right -- as a park it sucks. As just about anything except what it is, it sucks. And here's what it is: it is a filter that cleans the river and a potential staging area for breasted barges full of rock. Now, it's only the latter so long as Holcim owns it. If the City owns it, it can't be used that way and, viola, the port is hemmed in on all 4 sides. It may not be any smaller but it can't get any bigger. Since we have no power to make it smaller we are getting as good as we can in this regard. Could the strings be removed? Sure -- but that's not what the terms of the gift are.

    3. Mr. Friedman, what you say might have been correct up until last August, when the state designated the "South Bay Marsh and Creek Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat."

      (In future, why not ask residents of Hudson what they might know about things?)

      But before you do that, please assist the public by delivering the survey map of 6/9/12 which the state has instructed must be handed over today, right now.

      To every aldermen: there is no excuse for what is unfolding on your watch.

    4. "[T]he adoption of the Proposed Action would disallow future use of the 7-acres for industrial use if the property is not transferred" (GEIS, p. 4-2).

  8. I am disappointed in my aldermen, Chris Wagoner and John Friedman both of whom I usually have considerable respect for that they could vote for such a stupid resolution. David Marston seems to be the only one who hasn't had wool pulled over his eyes. I never heard of such a bad deal and it is all the more frustrating considering the efforts which were put into defeating the cement plant in the first place. To fritter away such gains and then literally throw the last chance out is heartbreaking. Doesn't anyone EVER listen to the public?

  9. Please don't think we are limiting the size of their waterfront activity by accepting those 10 acres. Holcim is keeping enough river frontage to "do" a huge mega off loading facility as tall as they want.

    1. "Tall" like a conveyor system you mean!

      And that's exactly what the new zoning will force the company to do.

      The Broad Street Crossing is no longer zoned for their traffic. A new zone for transporting aggregate cuts directly across the tracks from the causeway.

      It's a funny thing, the LWRP said that a conveyor wasn't being considered ...

      Uh-oh, maybe the aldermen are being "transparent" again.


  10. John,

    Thanks for being part of this conversation, this is more than we usually get from City officials. I think we can rest assured that the acreage in question has zero strategic or commercial value to Holcim. They wouldn't be willing to give it up in the proposed deal if it had the slightest value. For commercial shipping purposes, the water needs to be very deep, but he river bottom just off those little bits of land that Holcim is offering is extremely shallow. As noted by another poster in this thread, now that NY DOS has designated South Bay as a Significant Habitat, there is no way that Holcim or any of its successors will ever be granted a permit to dredge out enough underwater material to make those 9.9 acres useful as a docking area. So if the acreage can't be used as part of the port, and it is inaccessible to the public, and might still possibly be contaminated, then it makes no sense for the City to give up anything of value to acquire the parcel(s).

    Further, giving Holcim any kind of deal that provides the company with assurance that it can continue to operate here well into the future is simply bad strategy. The Common Council already made one massive mistake by approving the zoning provisions contained in the LWRP without first finalizing the terms of any land transactions with Holcim. By taking that action, the City squandered any leverage that it might have had in negotiations. Let's not repeat that blunder by giving the bastards anything in exchange for a piece of land that has no strategic importance to the City.

    1. My compliments, Gizmo. That was well said.

      I have just returned from measuring the old Standard Oil wharf on the newly added parcel.

      What can be said about officials who have for years refused to acknowledge the parcel's industrial history; then decided against making it a candidate site during a secretly planned "brownfields" contaminants grant application to the state; and finally are not interested in knowing that the "title search" that they ordered and paid for with our money does not actually provide the title history of the site!? (I know because I FOILed it, and I've also got the original Standard Oil deed which I turned up in less than half an hour: L85 p. 376.)

      Privately, I've had a staggering amount of push-back from several officials today - the kind of stuff I'd only tell my friends. Their idea is that I should shut up, and that's not going to happen.

      I'd like to express my gratitude to Gossips for making this important dialogue possible.

  11. Roberts is a fraud and should be 'kicked to the curb.'

    That's not legal council for Hudson.

    That's legal council for Holcim.

    Or am I missing something even more obvious ... ?

    1. When I asked an alderman if Roberts could be pursued on a fraud charge, I was told that, in the circumstances, only the Common Council had "standing."

  12. "Committee Chairman John Friedman said the council should have included
    the deed and a map with their resolution." Reg Star 3-28-2013

    conceded that there are were problems with the language of the
    resolution passed on February 11 and admitted that the deed and map
    should have been made public sooner than yesterday." Gossips of Rivertown 2-28-2013

    He's the Chair of Legal Committee. So why didn't he?

    "He[Friedman] said some of the language in the resolution should have been
    clearer, and took part of the responsibility for that." REg Star 3-28-2013

    again,why wasn't it clear?"

    Since the "deal' with Holcim and the Map has been made Public.

    Where is it?

    If there was a "Deal" that should be put on the 2013 ballot as a referendum ,for the PUBlC to VOTE on..this would be it. 50 years.Everyone on C.C. who voted this resolution through, will be dead or very old. This is for the public to vote on....not that anyone asked for this "deal" in the first place........for all of the reasons mentioned above ,especially the outrageous safety issues and the fact no citizen except one public commentator was in favour of the LWRP in the first place. .But Pres.D.Moore..just pushed that vote through, against advice of DOS Attorney that was present as he brought up concerns with issues with O&G and the questions and objections from Alderman that night.But with the exception of Ellen Thurston, all the aldermen voted yea on LWRP and it was passed.

    The idea of acquiring 7 +acers was part of LWRP.,but was left aside to be dealt with at a later time on C.C. vote,due to complications with O&G the gravel haulers and leaser& holder of Port and causeway.So I guess , this is what Moore and Roberts worked out., with no public knowledge.

    .but never the 2.4 acres. A DEC official last week has confirmed that neither the 7 acres + and certainly ,not the recently added 2.4 acres ,have ever had any environmental study. Who buys a house without an inspection?

    Friedman's statement ,that this would keep Port from expanding, makes no sense.

    If Holcim thought that land had any viable use..there would be no "gift"
    They are not giving it away to save taxes. The 2.4 acres is assessed for 2012 at 196,000. The 113 Acres is assed at 3,000,000 .The 7+ acres would come out of that. A pitance to Holcim.
    Check out assessments on Warren Street, north and south side and 1st and 3rd Ward Then maybe new arrivals will stop wondering why rents are seemingly too high. Holcim taxes are a joke.

    For Holcim ,dumping this land on Hudson, its far more likely because a) they have no use for it b)Holcim or whomever they sell to, do not want any remediation problems down the line this is high profile Hudson River Waterfront, now.
    And want noone from City to interfere with "Causeway"as a major concession from Hudson
    Waterfront /protected wetlands remediation isn't so easy to get away with , quick and dirty , as is Hudson's normal M.O.(with no care what so ever about the health and environmental safety in the years to come.)
    Its complicated and involves a lot of different agencies.

    Just a heads up..if Hallenbeck thinks he can just take a bulldozer to Furgary.

    If the 2.8 and 7+ acres are as toxic as I believe they are It will only be able to be use as a parking lot.No excavation. No building, no sewer or waterlines .And just that would be very expensive remediation and capping.

    Roberts can not prove me wrong

    Because she does not know.

    The only people that might know is Holcim.
    They are a notoriously dishonest corporation world wide..
    Do you think if they knew ...they would have that information available to anyone?

  13. Roberts and Moore want Hudson to take this off Holcim hands unseen., and accept all of Holcim's demands, for 50 yrs.

    So what's in this for Hudson's Taxpayers and citizens, exactly?

    I get why this is just grand for Holcim.

    Roberts says its not contaminated, then admits there have been no environmental studies, but that it's not contaminated .. but if it were contaminated, that there will be brownfield grants available ...if land turns out to be a hazardous waste site.
    EPA cannot guarantee anything, as far as clean-up grants..and no other agency has any money.

    AND This from a politician who we just got stuck with again as City Mayor Hallenbeck,because she lost her election.

    What does Roberts care what happens to Hudson.As an aspiring POL..She would have much more interest in Corporate allies. She doesn't own property here or live here. First shot she gets to improve her lot in life ...she'll be gone and she'll be dead in 50 years along with Moore. and most likely everyone else that voted on this.Marston abstained. and is probably the youngest., so he may be around.
    And the next two,three generations will have to clean up this mess , if it's even possible., after O&G have depleted the estimated amount of aggregate left--50yrs worth and dumps this whole mess on Hudson and walks away.
    The" Deal" with O&G and the "causeway"in this "GIFT" is the last nail in South Bay's coffin.
    And a Swiss owned Multinational Corp owns PORT ,ironically the only reason Hudson exists in the first place.

    1. Well said Prison Alley.

      One caveat: you state that "Roberts says it's not contaminated ... but if it were contaminated, that there will be brownfield grants available."

      It's important to be accurate here, because she said that about the 7 acres only, and not the 2.4-acre parcel.

      That's why the 2.4-acre parcel is not a candidate site in last year's secretly drafted BOA [brownfields] Program application, which was submitted to the state on September 27th.

      And guess who was among the handful of members of the "BOA Steering Committee" which secretly created the comprehensive plan: Roberts and Moore.

      Contrast what happened in Hudson with the DOS's recommendations for the level and quality of public participation in the BOA Program, where the participation in an LWRP and a BOA Program are treated as interchangeable:

    2. Curiously, the acquisition of any Holcim acreage south of the port was always presented as being optional in the draft and final editions of the LWRP and GEIS.

      It was only after those documents were completed that the public read in the SEQR Findings Statement that authorization of the LWRP depended on the land transfer! Yet another trick!

      Contrast what we only lately know is the absolute necessity of the land transfer deal with its various presentations throughout the LWRP and GEIS:

      "As noted in Section IV.A above, an opportunity exists to establish additional park land on the southern portion of the Holcim property" (FLWRP, p. 133).

      Under LWRP Section IV.A. "Proposed Land and Water Uses":

      "The land use plan for the area within the LWRP area reflects the policies of the LWRP ....

      "The proposed land uses also respond to a number of key planning goals ....

      "The planning goals include [p]rovision of additional public open space and recreational opportunities along the Hudson Riverfront ....

      "[T]he plan provides a generalized layout of future land uses intended for the LWRP area that also supports increased access to and use of the water resources provided by the Hudson River ....

      "This generalized land and water use plan ... incorporates seven broad categories of land use ..." (FLWRP, p. 119)

  14. "As part of any agreement with Holcim and before taking title to this parcel, the City should explore any issues of possible environmental contamination on the property" (Final LWRP, p. 73).

    The above quotation betrays the fib that people should attend council meetings to make their views known.

    I spoke out and warned the council at the meeting at which they ordered a "preparation of a preliminary environmental review, estimated to cost an additional $3000.00." That was last September 18th, and I got the same kind of push-back we're all feeling now.

    Months later, the February 11th Resolution empowers the mayor to enter into "contracts necessary to effectuate transfer of the Parcel," but the council's environmental review was never conducted.

    While it's true that the LWRP only recommends exploring contamination issues "as part of any agreement with Holcim," who would believe that the forces that created the LWRP or the actions of our aldermen were sincere? The kindest thing we can say is that both are thoughtless and deaf.

    I went to the 9/18 council meeting and pursued these issues only to be told by the council president that he didn't see the relevance of my line of questioning. The aldermen nodded in agreement, including the "cool" ones. The subsequent vote was unanimous.

    I'm not saying that they're all in a cabal, but I am questioning their competence and their level of respect for the public.

    Dear incompetent Aldermen: HAND OVER THE 6/9/12 SURVEY MAP WHICH IS A SMOKING GUN.

    After that we can discuss dropping the issue of your unthinking obedience to forces other than the public will.

  15. “It's a gift with strings. It's not the best gift in the world but in the end all the citizens of Hudson will own that 9+ acres -- and I can't think of better stewards. Am I to understand that you advocate keeping it in Holcim's hands?” – John Friedman

    Why is this ‘gift with strings’ so irresistible, but Galvan’s offer to fund the SpaceSmith plan and/or senior center in the armory so prohibitive? Are Marston and Haddad aligned with Friedman on this? Shocker.

  16. I didn't support this "deal" Rollo, and I didn't support spending double the amount budgeted for the senior center. Shocking, I know.