A story in today’s daily newspaper notes:
“[Comptroller Darlene] Green had been working to broker an agreement between the hospital and opponents of the lease, an effort that she says will continue. "I believe there is a compromise that can be reached," Green said.
The facts would strongly suggest that, so far, it is the proponents who have done all of the compromising. BJC agreed to pay a premium for the lease above its fair market value
BJC agreed to set aside no less than 15% of the land for green space
BJC agreed to replace the underutilized amenities in Hudlin Park to better locations at its sole cost of $1 million
The City has agreed to create a new pocket park for residents of Forest Park Southeast
The City has agreed to spend $1.6 million to purchase green space and park land in nearby neighborhoods
The City has agreed to set aside $400,000 for recreation programs for children, including $100,000 for children from low-income families
BJC has agreed to invest $100,000 to train minority workers for jobs in the health care industry
And, finally, BJC agreed to and held public hearings to give residents an opportunity to have their say
So far, the opponents have agreed to compromise on . . . nothing.
This proposal will create a nearly $4 million fund to maintain Forest Park. It will allow the City to improve other parks. It will also allow the City’s largest employer to maintain its full presence in our City.
I believe the opponents of this project are doing what they think is right. But, if they are not willing to give up one blade of grass, what exactly constitutes a “compromise”?