The HDCG seems to want to reassure:
But when we click on the link, we get a story:
Hall-Russell said the HHEDC is reviewing everything in conjunction with funders and store operator Jeff Ross and all remain committed to the project. She did not, however, reveal the amount of the funding shortfall or give an estimate on when construction could resume.
Even so, it is possible the shortfall is substantial. As the Courier reported in September, then construction manager Jason Matthews replaced Brinker Group LLC as the contractor after Brinker declined to reduce its $5.6 million construction bid by nearly $1 million.
Matthews, who Hall-Russell said was employed on a month-to-month contract, left when CM Solutions was announced as the new program manager last month. She said his departure was not related to his wife’s earlier departure, nor to the recent wrongful termination lawsuit she filed.
Jules Matthews filed a wrongful termination lawsuit claiming she had uncovered a misuse of funds, and was fired after bringing it to her superiors’ attention.“Our only statement on the Jules Matthews case is that we are confident that the charges will prove to be false and that we had a third party review the grants and accounting systems before her suit and it was clean,” said Hall-Russell. (Courier, Christian Morrow)
Unless and until the whistle blower case goes to trial, it will be hard to determine the truths of those matters. Matthews could easy have been fired for fighting corruption, or she could have been one of those people who plead “I’m a whistle blower!” when an institution turns its tables on them for any reason. And in either case, it all might have been instigated via shadowy third-party intrigue.
But because of this wrongful termination lawsuit, there’s a lot more dirty laundry visible here than you would ever learn about a lot of community groups and agencies.
Perhaps there is here revealed a danger, in these public-private-foundation projects, of stakeholders eschewing leadership responsibility — to provide leadership when nobody who feels ownership responsibility is in a leadership position.
When Redwood says,
“Look at the Consol Energy Center that went $30 million over budget and it’s all taxpayer money, so put it in perspective,” he said. “There is the $3 million development fund for the Hill District funded by the Rivers Casino, and they have an application before them. It’s frustrating but it will get done, and the Consensus Group will do whatever it can to help get it done.” (ibid)
You hope the commitment is still fierce. Things do go over budget, and encounter delays and even drama. Real business somehow always gets done.