A GUARDIAN reader expressed concerns with the Tommy Ahlquist-Greenstone attempt to corner the market on Expo Idaho (Fairgrounds) to the Ada County Development Services.
The reader got this well reasoned and measured response Monday:
First and foremost, I want to make the following very clear: the co-chairs did NOT meet with Tommy Alquist’s company, nor have they formally heard any proposals from any private developers. BVA reached out to the committee wanting to present, and the committee declined, stating it would not be appropriate at this time, as the committee is still in the middle of their process. We invited BVA to submit comment through our project e-mail like everyone else.
Prior to our meeting with the committee this week, the co-chairs have been meeting with some key informants identified by the committee as groups they wanted more information from. One of those groups is the Hawks. When the team reached out to set up the meeting with the Hawks, they asked if BVA could come present this plan. The co-chairs again told them no, and that they only wanted to hear from the Hawks.
When the co-chairs joined the meeting on Friday, the Hawks had invited BVA to join and present, unbeknownst to us. In the interview, which you can find here, the co-chairs clearly state that they are not there to hear a development proposal. Throughout the meeting, they reiterate this and focus on the Hawks and their current stadium. They did not allow Tommy Alquist and his team to present their proposal, but Alquist had already reached out to reporters and told them he was presenting to us, so unfortunately, the damage was already done before we even knew about it.
This committee is committed to a public process, which they will reiterate at their meeting on Wednesday. The public is welcome to comment through the established process above by e-mailing our project e-mail, as you have done. It is very frustrating that BVA has tried to side-step this process by talking to the press and coming uninvited to our meetings, and I am sorry if it has appeared that our process has been biased or unfair; we are working very hard to keep that from happening. We are not considering this proposal at this time, and will not consider any private development proposals until the public has indicated what they would like to see on the property.
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Ada County Development Services
To insure more advertising-free Boise Guardian news, please consider financial support.