Former city development director Don Eversley issued this statement to OIB following news of the departure of a company he recruited to the East End shipyard. Everlsey now works as a commercial and industrial development consultant. From Eversley:
As it happens, as both OPED Director and Port board member, I worked my ass off on this deal: plowing through the Derecktor melt down and bankruptcy mess, advocating with the State to support a reorganized shipyard, marketing the property to marine operators nationwide, running two tours with dozens of interested parties, numerous meeting with firms that came in for meetings before the RFP, designed the RFP, ran the process and sat on the selection committee that picked Goodison, and then months of negotiations on the lease and operational matters.
At the point I departed my post at the City, the deal was teed-up to be a big win for the City and Port. Goodison was already on site and spent a bunch of money cleaning it up, making repairs and bringing down trailers and gear that they needed to do the Coast Guard cutter overhaul job that they were permitted to bring in while contracts were still being finalized.
When I left, Goodison’s lease with the Port was easily 75 – 80 % complete. There was separation on rent, how much of the site they would use and to what degree they would take on physical and environmental damage caused by previous users. But the parties were very much in the same ballpark and there seemed more than enough ways to “split the difference” and have a win-win scenario.
How it slid off the rails after that can only be explained by policy makers in charge. Bill Coleman is a tireless and smart worker for the City and always does his best to operator within parameters he is given, but the FF Business News should have pushed for a senior level response.
Devil is in the details … good to have one of the participants telling the story from his viewpoint. Unfinished business … or a business that finished business with Bridgeport because??? More storytellers required. Especially tell us about the public money, expected, forthcoming, spent, bonded, or otherwise committed. Time will tell.
This story is far too repetitive. Bridgeport’s brainiac planners failed again. Here is a thought. Sell the property to the highest bidder and get out of the way. That way Bridgeport, the State and the Feds could stop blowing “incentive” dollars. If we had sold Steel Point 12 years ago, we could have recouped the tax dollars that land is worth. Instead, we plan, we plan, we plan. We lose millions, the state “invests” millions only to take Bridgeport out of the tax revenue stream for three to four decades. That on top of the two decades we have lost so far. To all of the Eversley’s of the world, STOP HELPING! You’re not helping.
Steeley Pointe. Does anyone talk about how many dollars have been spent there so far? Does $500 million sound right?
Eversley … what a waste of an Ivy League education.
Bridgeport has been a morass for 40 years under subsequently increasing corruption, nepotism, cronyism and downright ineptness. Not one person associated with economic development has been able to produce one iota of serious and substantial results.
The name Eversley and the words “economic development” are blasphemous if used in the same sentence. I had to laugh when he said he worked his ass off to land this deal. I may be wrong, but wasn’t that his job?
*** IT WAS NO DOUBT ANOTHER “ONE-ARMED BANDIT” TYPE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PIPEDREAM BPT IS USED TO! ***