John McCarthy is a longtime, strongly committed Westporter.
He also knows his way around town politics. He keeps his eye on things most of us don’t have time for, forget about, or never knew.
The other day he posted on Facebook:
Anyone else in Westport think that the Baron’s South Committee has lost all credibility by keeping responses to the RFP (request for proposal) secret for 5 months?
Why the secrecy? Why only discussed in Executive Session? What happened to the open and transparent process we were promised?
John says that since receiving 3 responses to an RFP in early April, the committee has met 15 times in executive session (closed to the public). No information about the responses has been released.
The Baron’s South proposal — for senior housing on the town-owned property between South Compo Road and Imperial Avenue — is one of the most far-reaching in recent town history.
Information on the proposals — including financing options, and the principals backing each group — may make or break public support.
State Representative Jonathan Steinberg responded on Facebook that the holdup is due to a Board of Finance request for an update in executive session. That meeting — originally scheduled for next week — has been delayed.
The RTM’s Planning and Zoning Commission will also weigh in on the RFPs, prior to public discussion.
John’s Facebook post stirred the pot a bit. That pot will boil once the discussion gets going.
The future of Baron’s South — and, with it, the look and feel of downtown Westport — could be the biggest town controversy of the next few years.