At the Friday, October 30th meeting of the Board of Aldermen, mine and Alderman Terry Kennedy’s (D-18th Ward) were the only NO votes on the massive 1,500-acre redevelopment deal known in the media as “NorthSide” and spearheaded by developer Paul McKee.
I took the opportunity Friday to explain why I could not support Mr. McKee’s proposal. Watch that video here:
In addition, I submitted the following statement for the official record of the Board of Aldermen:
Under Rule 47 of the Board of Aldermen Rules, Mr. French explains his vote with the following:
Alderman French voted NAY on Board Bills 218CS and 219CS because of the particular developer’s treatment of the community in the five years he has been assembling land in poor neighborhoods. With much respect to the co-sponsors of these bills, Alderwomen Griffin, Triplett, Young, and Davis, and Alderman Bosley, who have crafted a very good redevelopment deal with many new safeguards to protect the community moving forward and makes requirements of the developer to finally force him to be a responsible partner, Alderman French stated in his remarks on the floor that the unanimous passage of these bills would send the wrong message to future developers also planning projects on a similar scale. It is Alderman French’s position that the manner in which this developer has acquired and not maintained his hundreds of parcels actually does more to damage communities in the short run.
I was also interviewed on KMOX radio on Friday to discuss my vote. You can listen to that interview right here: Listen to Alderman French’s KMOX interview.