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.