Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Board of Aldermen Votes to Sue Citizens

The Mayor asked the Board to approve taking legal action against the individuals who are "holding up the condo project", and of course the Board went along. In their typical fashion, it was the last item before adjournment. Of course, there was no discussion whatsoever - obviously this was the result of another back room deal. Since they never seem to have roll call votes - just a voice vote - I could only detect one vote against, which was Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux-Mathis.

As you all know, two developers (Worley Brown) purchased the old Pecan Factory property from the city for basically nothing in order to build luxury condos on the bluff. There was a large group of citizens who were incensed about this project for many reasons, but especially about the way it was handled. Three of those citizens - Gwen Ball, Neil Varnell, and Sarge Preston - filed a lawsuit against the city questioning the legality of the sale of the property. This Board seems to think it can violate the law whenever it wants without any consequences. Thank goodness these citizens were brave enough to challenge them. I personally applaud their courage and thank them for taking this action on behalf of the rest of us.

And what thanks do they get? Their City is suing them! Can you believe that? I guess the City is concerned about losing in a court of law, and now they are resorting to intimidation of these citizens, whose only concerns are the welfare of our community. Here's the message, folks: don't you dare to disagree with this group. This is pretty outrageous in my book - when citizens in the community cannot have a voice in their government.

This condo deal is looking worse all the time. The recently released report from the National Realtors Association indicates that condo prices are sinking and condo sales are way down, and they expect that trend to continue at least a year or two. So why is the city so desperate for this project? It was a bad idea to begin with, and it's not getting any better.

On the subject of the condos, I have heard a nasty rumor, and I would like to know if anyone out there knows anything about it. I was told that Butch Brown, Secretary of Transportation and father of the Brown in Worley Brown, told the City it would not get its Trails Project approved unless the condos were allowed to be built.

UPDATE: The meeting was televised and will be shown on Thursday at 6 pm on Channel 4. This is supposed to be regular now.


natchezblues said...

In reference to the lawsuit by a group of Natchez citizens, what is the hold up? Seems like this has been at a stand still, for a while. What is status of it? When will there be an outcome?
Also, I do not think you can compare real estate trends in Natchez with the rest of the country. We and most of the south are still in a real estate boom

Anonymous said...

I don't think the real estate trends are relevant. There was no "trend" driving the project in the first place. There were no market forces saying "Natchez needs condos" when the project was conceptualized. So, from the get-go, it was a "build it they will come" business plan. Which is not a business plan. This might be why the deal's apparent structure to date has the city and the citizens bearing so much of the risk.

justwondering said...

I wonder how much suing the citizens will cost the taxpayers?

commonsense said...

The biggest risk we the citizens are having forced on us is that the BLUFFS ARE GONNA CONTINUE TO CAVE IN. If those condos are built, we might lose an entire street if not a neighborhood. Not to mention lives.

Any person alive in Natchez knows this to be true. Including the members of the city council and Larry Brown's entire family.

I don't think Worley believes this, but then he has not lived here long enough to know from experience. But, if such a disaster did occur, there would be lots of re-insurance opportunities for Worley's business.

jokerswild said...

What's the basis for the city suing the petitioners in the condo lawsuit? I don't get it.

Sounds like the inmates are running the asylum over at city hall.

Casey Ann said...

In response to natchezblues, I think the lawsuit against the City is scheduled to go before a judge shortly. Nothing happens very quickly with lawsuits! However, I would imagine that whoever loses will appeal the decision, so it could go on for a while.

Casey Ann said...

In answer to "jokerswild", the basis of the City's lawsuit is that these citizens are holding up the condo - which the Board of Aldermen want. At some point, maybe the Aldermen will figure out that disregarding the law has consequences, but there are sure no signs of it so far.