SMART District Board Meeting

These following comments were delivered to the SMART District Board at their meeting on December 16, 2009, by Jack Atkin, President of the SCTA. They were directed at a decision made by the SMART District to enter into a Community Benefit Agreement with the developers of the Railroad Square Project in Santa Rosa that will be negotiated by theAccountable Development Coalition, a non-government group.  This coalition, made up of environmental, union, living wage and other groups, want to limit building contracts to those cozy with the coalition.


There is really only one question here, and that is” What’s in the best interests of the taxpayers?”   The money you spend is not your money, its taxpayers’ money. That fact places a fiduciary burden on your shoulders to act in the best interests of the taxpayers.

So I ask, how is it in the best interests of the taxpayers to have a development deal that reduces competition for contracts, and which will raise the cost of the project? How is it that deals have to be made behind closed doors if they are in the best interests of the taxpayers? It would seem to me that if the deal really benefits those who you owe the fiduciary duty to, you would want to make them in the light of day because they will reflect well on you doing your duty.

I see no way to put a happy face on this cozy, tawdry, backroom deal. I urge you to rescind it to restore public trust in your stewardship.

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