The Salt Lake Redevelopment Agency scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to discuss an investigation to identify the source of a rumor that council members arranged a deal giving a local bank a Block 57 bonding package.
The special session comes at the request of City Councilman W.M. Stoler who, while denying involvement in the rumor, said he wants to settle the dust the story raised by finding its source and determining its veracity.The councilman who made the rumor public last week, Tom Godfrey, will be out of town during the special meeting, as will two other council members - Roselyn Kirk and Sydney Fonnesbeck.
Godfrey said he recognized the RDA, whose board of directors is the City Council, had enough votes to call for the investigation but still cautioned against it.
"It's a waste of time to track down a rumor. I think what they ought to be discussing is rebidding the contract," Godfrey said.
The RDA passed a resolution in 1984 naming Zions First National Bank as a consultant for Block 57 financing but never signed a contract with the bank. Last week the RDA approved signing a contract with Zions for the financing.
Godfrey said 5 years was too long to go without rebidding the contract, and the existence of the rumor made it appear as if the RDA was steering the finance package toward a favored institution.
Also on the RDA's special session agenda is a discussion of the architectural selection process involving a new arena for the Utah Jazz basketball team. Local architects have criticized the RDA for its short 4-day selection process.
In an acerbic letter to Mayor Palmer DePaulis, architect Michael Stransky suggested an advisory board be created to assist the RDA.
Stransky wrote that RDA efforts, such as Block 57, have been unsuccessful and that the RDA "cannot continue to move without capable, professional advice."
Responding to the Stransky letter, RDA Chairwoman Florence Bittner said local architects should be provided a forum to voice their concerns.