Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another Robbie Perkins Recusal: Kisco Senior Living gets incentives

"The City Council approved $1 million in incentives to help locate a new elderly housing community at the former Pilot Life headquarters on High Point Road.

...The grant will help offset the cost of improving water and sewer infrastructure to the area.

The council approved the incentive 7-1. Councilwoman Mary Rakestraw voted against it.

Councilman Robbie Perkins, who represents the property owner in the sale of the Pilot Life property and has a direct financial interest, was excused from the debate Tuesday night.

...The $1 million grant will help make the development possible, city leaders said.

Kisco will receive the money over four years, starting in 2012. In order to receive the grant, which comes out of a $10 million pool of economic development bonds, the company must first pay its taxes and meet job creation guidelines.

...The city will annex the property, as part of the deal.

...The incentive request - negotiated by Westmoreland - raised an ethical debate among some council members.

Councilman Mike Barber questioned the way the request was brought to the council.

Perkins represents the land owner, Lincoln Financial Group, and will get a commission if the sale goes through.

It was Perkins who introduced the potential buyer to Westmoreland.

Westmoreland brought the issue to the city council in a closed session.

Perkins sat out.

Some council members first learned about the request, and Perkins' involvement, that evening.

Barber asked that the council be made aware of possible incentive requests, and any council member's involvement, as soon as the issue reaches a city leader's desk.

He would like to see council members give written disclosures of financial interests.

Rakestraw said she was not comfortable with the way the incentive request was handled.

"I won't support it only because I just don't like the way this came about," she said."

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