The Rio Nuevo Board rushed out a press release on Friday night in what appears to have been an effort to head off the story in the Sunday edition of the morning daily that hammers the Rio Nuevo Board for spending upwards of a million bucks on lawyers and nothing on actual downtown redevelopment.
But the press release was so weirdly vague and badly written that it comes off as more of a parody than a professional communication from a public agency—and then Ward 6 City Councilman Steve Kozachik got ahold of it and shared his annotated version, resulting in what has to be the strangest document of year. Below, you'll find Rio Nuevo's original release, with Steve K's comments in italics:
The Rio Nuevo Board invited comments. I'm happy to oblige.
My first comment is that when you send out a press release, you might not want to bold the portions that cast you in a negative light. Perhaps a simple oversight by their copy editor, but I'll take the opportunity to point out what's being said about them, using their own release.
The timing of the Release raises the curious suspicion that they're trying to frame a position out ahead of some information they fear will be dropped in the media over the weekend. Stay tuned to see if that prediction plays out.
Now, on with the comments...
For Immediate Release: Rio Nuevo Misconceptions
The unpaid (yes, it's volunteer work - clearly) reconstituted Rio Nuevo Board has been accused by city bureaucrats of wanting to harm the City and downtown development. Untrue, the Board is comprised of volunteers committed to the financial health and welfare of our community, including a vibrant downtown.
There is a misconception that the Board’s commissioned legal and accounting efforts harm the city. (their legal efforts have cost the taxpayers several hundreds of thousands of dollars - their accounting efforts to date constitute a web site that is a year out of date, and refusals of FOIA requests from the media.) However, Board member Jonathan Paton says, “Nothing could be further from the truth. The Board only commissions work to protect taxpayers and to further effective downtown development.”