The following piece was posted on the Issues List on February 23, 2015 by Bob Carney, former candidate for Minneapolis mayor and Lobbyist for “We the People.”
Re: [Mpls] Mill City Times- Graco’s broken promise
I’m glad to see the Star Tribune published Jenny Fortman’s Commentary article, but to me three things are missing. First, it’s important to keep in mind that Graco’s commitment to provide the easement was part of a Tax Increment Financing deal in which Graco received financing that I think was valued at about $1 million. Second, the Planning Commission’s document established as a condition of that deal that Graco WOULD provide the easement — actually two easements, one for a trail, the other for a road. The point is that this deal was, and is, a contract, in writing, involving land. Graco has a legal obligation according to the contract — counter arguments can be made, but I think the starting point is clearly that a contract exists.
Third, in 2011 Graco provided a letter to the Park Board supporting the plan that is going forward now, and stating Graco had ALREADY provided a trail corridor.
I don’t have any problem with trying to be nice and encourage Graco to “do the right thing” — but I think this situation has reached a point where we need to start talking about Graco’s legal obligation, and the harm Graco could cause if the Federal money is lost.
I’ll plan on following up on this with a more detailed post.