The AP City Council convened a public meeting tonight to hear citizen comments on both its personnel reorganization and an agreement between Madison Marquette "regarding subdeveloper Agreements." Only one person asked questions, me.
Later employees, who had gathered in the chambers, said the union had advised them not to speak.
City Manager Terry Reidy said the purpose of the Marquette contract was to make an agreement with the City where none currently exists. The scope does not include issues such as approval of 16-story buildings for the Ocean Avenue lots or a condo/hotel of 25 stories. The agreement will cover two agreements, said Reidy: Madison Asbury Retail, LLC that is comprised of Asbury Partners, which is now owned by iStar Financial (SFI), and Madison Marquette, and runs the retail businesses on the boardwalk, and St. James Redevelopment LLC, the entity that purchased Wesley Grove condominiums from Charles Kushner.
Reidy said lately the only ones conferring with Madison Marquette's representatives, who include Amsel Fusco, are our attorneys Tom Hastie and Glenn Scotland, of McManimon & Scotland, in Newark. No elected officials.
Asked who was negotiating for iStar Financial, Reidy said they are "not part of this..." I asked, "Wasn't iStar present?"
Reidy said, "I'm not saying that."
The city attorney, when asked the same question, referred me to the redevelopment attorneys, who were not present in the chambers.
The council adjourned to executive session, saying they didn't expect to take any action tonight. However, no one cleared the chamber. The deputy clerk read from a statement saying action could be taken on either matter tonight following the executive session. Minutes, with redacted passages as per advice of city attorneys, would become available when the reason for confidentiality has passed. When I left the lights were still on and the doors remained open.