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Chamber of Commerce turns on spin cycle regarding “eminent domain” plans for downtown

In Agenda 21 on July 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Recently Mr. Doug Berry of the Local Chamber of Commerce was quoted in the local press that he was the one that came up with the 300 number while referring to lots, that were targeted for demolition and redevelopment and mentioned in a “propaganda flyer” that was passed out to residents within the target zone. That action drew the ire of the Chamber, the Mayor and City Council over allegations it was misleading and untruthful. Well you can decide for yourself what the white-paper drafted plan was talking about regardless of the spin that is placed upon it.

I asked my self what purpose would it serve for Mr Berry to take this on himself? Why would he say he was the originator of the “300 lots”, causing further controversy just to have controversy?

My opinion is he is placing this on himself to deflect from the elected officials that are involved. See he didn’t get elected by the people. He was hired to be the “hatchet man” much tbe way he was hired in Knoxville to do when they used eminent domain to build that downtown.

The most interesting thing I see about this is that Mr Berry, at least the three days I was there and during my participation in the SWOT analysis was not there or should I say, at least was not visible at the three day Charade, er, Charette.

The Consultants and planners while at the Charette made it sound and was able to provide “proof” that the 300 homes that would “be best served by demolition and redevelopment” was spawned from the SWOT Analysis and it was our input and our idea! I’m really confused. How could “we” have done it and Mr Berry claims he did it? You can see what is going on here! When I was in the military we call this FUBAR, I don’t need to fill it in I think you know what that means! The right hand does not know what the left hand is doing! There is so much cover up trying to hide the true plans for our county that they catch themselves in opposing stories! If Mr Berry is in fact the purveyor of the 300 homes then what worth is the SWOT anaysis. Does Mr Berry have more say so in the plan than the public! That seems the opposite of what the consultants are telling us at the public Charades! I thought “we” suggested that the 300 homes be best served by demolition and redevelopment? Shoot, now he goes and admits it was his idea! I’m sooooo confused!

It’s my opinion that by admitting it and somehow attaching it to him it’s better or somehow throws you off the scent of true intent. And then he says 300 lots, not 300 homes as in the white paper draft that was given at the last public meeting. Its spin folks! My head hurts!

He said and I paraphrase here, while that 300 home statement has basis, BUT, you clearly can see by the way I tell it that we were only talking about the property within the Whirlpool boundary! You know those old buildings and “lots”, not the silly 300 homes that people live in, eat, sleep and raise their children in! Not those silly people, why would I refer to that area as the one we had “drafted” and “planned” to bulldoze, after all if that was the plan, that would be 10 years off, haha! Those silly peasants! They are so annoying! He didn’t really say that but through his series of statements in the banner article I can entertain my inner child and somehow play out a comical sketch to somehow lessen the severity of the impact that our non elected bureaucrats are playing with our minds and our property! Are these actions to cover up a bold move by one too many bureaucrats with their hands in the pot. I don’t know you decide.

What vantage point does the Chamber of Commerce seek with all this double talk? To speak louder than the citizenry? To vilify those informing the public of their plans?

Let’s just spin it so the silly peasants sound as if they made the the whole thing up about the 300 homes and say it was just the whirlpool site and 300 lots! Sounds ingenious doesn’t it, except for one thing Mr Berry, all the info, drafted or suggested plans and past press statements you made say and project otherwise!

Let’s start with the white paper draft plan that no one seems to acknowledge or that it even exists And was handed out to the public and very clearly describes what the consultants, Mr Berry, the Chamber of Commerce and planners really planned to do with your property.

Excerpt from the drafted “White paper draft plan” that noone will admit to existing but is the last known plan released to the public.
 
Listen as I quote the information given out at the last charade public meeting and see if you believe this sounds like the activity Mr Berry speaks of (a benign 300 lot factory) will be confined within Whirlpool property?

“An area of particular concern consists of several blocks of “postage stamp” lots located directly south of the Whirlpool Complex, The area consists of small work force housing on small lots built during the 1920’s 30’s, and 40’s and are now in poor repair.”

“The roughly 300 units are valued at approximately $35,000 each and several landlords own 6 or more units. Due to age and value, the units as a whole are not well maintained.”

“Those attending the SWOT Analysis (not Doug Berry) concurred that this area would best be served by DEMOLITION AND REDEVELOPMENT!”

Note the detail of those statement above! Doesn’t sound like some broken down empty warehouse lot to me!

You know Mr Berry, why have controversy for the sake of controversy! Doesn’t make sense to me. The people that live in those 300 lots would alot rather hear that that “WAS” the plan, after much debate, we heard you and we heard you didn’t like this and we changed course because we care about you and your property rights! That is much more palatable than trying to tell them a double sided story that is full of holes.

I personally doubt any concerned citizens that supposedly formulated the SWOT analysis really said the area would be best served by demolition and redevelopment as the white paper draft concluded. Its that adage of believing if he said it then it must be true kinda thing.

The SWOT Analysis was designed to direct and limit your choices to the outcome that the city desired with the appearance that the community was behind it. The city has been trying to convince the city of Cleveland that the citizens are behind the plan. Take a look at this article in CDB.

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/18934474/article-Thomas–Planning-is-growth-tool?instance=homefirstleft 
 
I thought this plan was the work of Rick Russell (who popped up out of nowhere at the Charade and the banner include me in an article about the greenway of all things) and his firm, why is Mr. Berry now saying he is responsible for the 300 number? Did he contribute to other areas of the white-paper, or was this the only area?
 
It is now confirmed that eminent domain was on the table and still is. Mr. Berry says “it would be false of me to say we can redevelop there without acquiring some homes or commercial businesses. That’s a given if we want to replace these manufacturing jobs with more manufacturing jobs.” Now Mr. Berry admits eminent domain is a “given”, how else does the city acquire property or get the residents to clean up their property.

Maybe we can look at 890 Inman Street for an example which I believe is in the gateway to the city that Berry is so concerned about. The memo giving the owner of the property 60 days from 5/4/12 to demolish the structure.

If I owned the 2 junkyards mentioned in the white-paper that were identified as eyesores I would be more concerned than ever after Berry says “gateways and inner cities are important because they are they are the definitions of who and what a community is to the outside world.” He doesn’t stop there he continues, “we have to be careful at times on how we route people into Cleveland so people who are from out of town do get the right impression.”  So even if you don’t lose your property you may not be able to use it as you desire.

Mr. Berry has now given us an ultimatum, if you want more jobs, accept eminent domain, and now he admits homes and businesses are at risk and “that those are some tough decisions we have to be prepared to talk through and work through with the neighborhood.”
 
What jobs is he talking about replacing? I thought Whirlpool just relocated. Did they cut employees?
 
It seems the flyer’s that were distributed in the CCA were accurate and the city has been in cover up mode by changing the original white-paper, and when given the opportunity to hand out the new white-paper at a June 18 status update public meeting with residents from the central city area in attendance they failed to do so. Why is that, if the document was changed on May 31, why would the mayor and city council and others who were at that meeting not make it available to the residents of the central city area? Because it appears the White paper was changed to cover up the city’s true intentions! To demolish and redevelop!
 
It also appears and this again is my opinion, that the local press are in cover up mode also! Why? Why are we trying to hide something from the public that will in the end hurt the people of Bradley County? Why can’t a reporter even after hearing presented evidence of why the Mayor blasted his constituency, to report it. Because the truth somehow leaked out and now we go into spin cycle and deny it because it would not be politically expedient to every sitting elected official! That’s the true reason! In my opinion!
 
Is he lying? Is he covering up his true plans? Is he on spin cycle?you decide for your self! I personally believe that the plan to to move forward with Demolition and redevelopment will go forward as leaked and many people will be displaced from their homes! Just a hunch!

Mr. Berry says “I can’t lie to people!” Look at his statements made in public and captured in print and you make a determination if ge has lied to you!
 
“The following are excerpts from local press articles of Mr Berry displaying his true intentions for Cleveland and all of Bradley County!”

“Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Economic Development Doug Berry, who worked with Nance on several Knoxville projects, said the primary area in Cleveland is the 93-acre Whirlpool site.”

“One of the things we’ve struggled with is that this all started around Whirlpool’s decision, which would tend to put it at Inman Street moving south and kind of easterly,” he said. “If we get into redevelopment, we certainly need to look at stepping across (north of Inman Street).”

“Though how far to step north of Inman Street is debatable, Berry said there is a need to at least engage all the streetscape for the sake of cohesiveness

“In order to successfully develop the Whirlpool site, the BROADER AREA NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED!!!”

“The first time I looked at how to redevelop around Whirlpool and keep them there at that location, it was 113 properties we had to deal with,” he said. “When I thought in the context of what is an appropriate area geographically to create opportunity from a mixed-use perspective, it jumps to a minimum of about 330 properties.”

BCN side note: 330 properties! Not lots within the Whirlpool boundary!

“In Knoxville, the development corporation used a form of eminent domain to clear the titles. But Berry said he realizes Cleveland has never utilized eminent domain and has no interest in using that procedure as it is interpreted here.”

BCN side note: In fact eminent domain was used in the 40s and reportedly displaced one of our County Commissioners families. Also, at a meeting at the library, which of course didn’t get any press coverage but Mr Berry told me he had no problem with condemning a property and taking it if we couldnt find an heir or that person didn’t mow their grass! I quickly responded in that meeting that this is the reason I am here today protesting because of you saying stuff like that!

Nance said a form of eminent domain was used in Knoxville in a “FRIENDLY SENSE” because it provided tax incentives and other advantages for the property owners.

BCN side note: Their is nothing friendly about eminent domain!

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/16178609/article-Whirlpool-site-redevelopment-eyed?

Such a redevelopment project has never before been undertaken in Cleveland and ultimately, it would require the use of eminent domain. Berry expressed his concern to the company, but he agreed to analyze what it would take to put a million square feet in the neighborhood. In order to do that, it would require BUYING ALL OF THE PROPERTY between Plant No. 3 and Ocoee Street, all the way to Plant No. 2.

BCN note: Hereege tells you what he is going to do and it is exactly what we warned you he was going to do! He notes that a redevelopment project has never before been undertaken……AND IT WOULD REQUIRE THE USE OF EMINENT DOMAIN!!! How much clearer can it get? How do we give the Mayor, the Chamber, hired consultants and our planners a pass when we know what their ultimate plan is! All they are doing is attempting to villify the people who are telling you about it and they have a willing press to cover it up!

The difference between an outright purchase which will be their first move and eminent domain is whether you are willing to sell or not. Say no! I wanna keep my home and they take it!!!

Mr Berry continues “That’s 300 lots. That’s where the 300 number came from,” Berry said. “I then sat down with the company and explained that I did not think this was a viable option because this community has not been through the process and has no history of ever having used eminent domain as part of its economic development program.”

“When you hear about the 300 homes that are going to be taken and bulldozed, that number actually has basis, but it’s not fact in the conclusion of those statements.” He said some use might be found for the Hardwick Stove Plant (Whirlpool Plant No. 2) which is directly across from the Woolen Mill. That would be a tremendous project to anchor a VLOUNTARY redevelopment strategy. Plant No. 3 might have interim uses but it will be a demolition job. It will be a brownfield or a new vacant site for development. He expects the buildings that make up Plant No. 1 are worn out after 100 years of continuous manufacturing.

BCN note: Voluntary is key word!

“What do we need to do to successfully redevelop this with manufacturing or distribution or job centers? I CAN’T LIE TO THE PEOPLE! We will have to assemble some larger tracts from these core parcels, predominantly because of the way companies develop sites now,” he said. “It would be false of me to say we can redevelop there WITHOUT ACQUIRING some HOMES or COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES. That’s a given if we want to replace these manufacturing jobs with more manufacturing jobs.”

BCN note: Silly peasants! I can’t lie to you! He probably should have said “I must tell you the truth!” He is telling you he can’t redevelop the area without ACQUIRING HOMES AND COMMERCIAL BUSINESSES! What is different than what was in the so called “propaganda flyer!” The two junkyards are in his target too, just read the white paper draft before they can change it again!

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/19349438/article-Redevelopment-needs-talk–Doug-Berry?

“We started with Whirlpool’s decision,” said Doug Berry, the Chamber’s vice president for economic development. But Cleveland may want to look BEYOND the century-old plant site’s 113 acres to ADJACENT AREAS INCLUDING INMAN STREET, he said.”

Berry, in his former job as a Knoxville planner, worked with Nance on that city’s redevelopment projects.

A common funding technique in Knoxville has been TAX INCREMENT FINANCING, Nance said. That process uses anticipated tax revenue from increased property values to subsidize development.

BCN note: With TIF financing, they purchase or acquire your property at rock bottom prices, redevelop and resell you property to a select realtor it develops, value goes up and the difference used to fund the redevelopment of your old property! This will also shuttle money from the city coffers and away from the schools for 20 to 30 years! How you like those apples! “It’s for the kids right?”

“It is one way for the public to have a voice in the city’s development, he said. But the objective, Nance said, is for the market to drive the redevelopment, whether commercial or residential.”

“Knoxville ALSO has used its POWER of EMINENT DOMAIN to ACQUIRE some PROPERTIES!”

BCN note: Mr Nance used to and is seemingly still is working with Mr Berry! One question? Also? Did someone squeeze a duck in the room? Also meaning Knoxville and Cleveland? Perhaps a little slip on
backroom conversation! Just an observation!

While the use of EMINENT DOMAIN CAN BE CONTROVERSIAL in some cases in Knoxville it was the ONLY WAY to clear titles and get loans for redevelopment, Nance said. He cited one property with 150 HEIRS making it impossible to find a LENDER.

BCN note: Soooooo! The one piece of property in the example above had so many people that were heirs that it was impossible to get lending? Hmmmmm? Sooooo, so many people wanted to KEEP their property that it would have tied up the court system so long that there would be no chance in hades of expediantly resolving it so take it by eminent domain and wack those 150 heirs out of their inheritance. Now I get it!

“It can be done in a FRIENDLY (they sure like that friendly word) way with tax advantages to the owners,” Nance said.

http://www.tfponline.com/news/2011/oct/26/options-weighed-for-whirlpool-site-in-cleveland/

“Approach the comprehensive redevelopment task with an OPEN MIND and DETERMINED mindset remembering that DEMOLITION of EXISTING STRUCTURES and HISTORIC PRESERVATION can share in the COLLECTIVE GOOD of the community and area residents. To PRESERVE WHEN REASONABLE and to START OVER WHEN NEEDED are LEGITIMATE OPTIONS and WORKING PARTNERS!”

BCN Note: in other words, your Government and The Chamber of Commerce comb over your property, go eenie meenie money mo and select what homes and businesses dont cut the mustard then by you being a fantastic team player, you give up your home for the “collective good” and you take your little chunk of change and go somewhere to start over like a good little boy or girl!

“Any idea geared at redeveloping the Whirlpool site is worth debate but not all will be doable nor economically feasible. Most of the existing structures are old and many sit in a flood plain. But these should not be VIEWED AS LIMITATIONS but rather as OPPORTUNITIES!”

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/11559088/article-Time-to-start-planning?

Berry pointed out the industrial site is large enough that its redevelopment will IMPACT SURROUNDING AREAS; hence, the need for COMMUNITY INPUT!

BCN note: In other words when we take your property we want you to know about it! Wait a minute, didn’t the flyer provide an avenue to let you know what they were planning? Didn’t the Mayor and the City Council form a resolution in city chambers to hunt down, expose and arrest those that were seeking community input! They don’t want your input, they want a Tom Rowland Convention to replace your home? No, then read this:

Councilman Banks suggests a Tom Rowland Convention Center and a couple of buildings for planners!
http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/11400314/article-Whirlpool-site-redevelopment-talks-eyed?

“Over the next couple of years, Whirlpool leaders will have two focuses in Cleveland. One will be construction, and completion, of the new factory. The second will be a close involvement with the community in REDEVELOPING the existing site, Berry said.

“They (Whirlpool) will need to be involved to understand community expectations,” he offered. “ … Ultimately, the community and the company will have to come to terms with what we’ve got and WHAT WE’RE GOING TO DO WITH IT!”

http://www.clevelandbanner.com/view/full_story/9584992/article-City-to-seek-grant-for-redevelopment-of-Whirlpool-site?

I think it is pretty clear they, everyone is covering up what they plan to do downtown around the ole whirlpool site! The Chamber of Commerce with it’s grand plan of what they want to do with your property is pretty clear! No matter what spin they throw at you, the deed is done and no matter of resistance will stop them! It is now up to you to stand for your property rights and defend your self against an intimately aligned organization of the UNITED NATIONS! The Chamber is the number one consultation status with the UNITED NATIONS and perhaps their true colors are showing!

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  1. The Chamber of Commerces cover is unraveling and their core is being exposed one layer at a time! Their close alignment and even their creation of the UNITED NATIONS is causing many headaches for our country! We often look for reasons why the UN has so many votes going forward in DC lately that affect us intimately and passionately is because the largest lobbyist in DC is doing the UNs dirty work! The two are so closely aligned they are beginning to look alike!

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  2. A 15-year-old girl called. She wants her exclamation marks back.

    Like

  3. I’m telling the principal the bullies are taking over the playground!!!!!!!!!!!

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