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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Take the reigns

City Council officials this week received a report from the developer that wants to bring one of the largest green mixed-use developments in the nation to a downtown city block across from the Broad Street Bank building.

But once again, there has been an impasse between the developer and officials from the Douglas H. Palmer administration, just like the Broad Street Bank and other city redevelopment projects.

Councilman Jim Coston, thinking aloud on his blog, said that City Council could not take a larger role in negotiating with developers for this downtown site, and other areas in need of redevelopment in town, because the mayor and his executive branch cronies are the ones empowered to negotiate with developers

But this is not exactly true.

If the City Council truly became unhappy with the continued delays and ineptitude of city development officials, they could use New Jersey's redevelopment statutes to designate themselves the redevelopment entity for a project, like Full Spectrum.

Doing so would allow them to negotiate with developers, hire consultants, and do all of the heavy lifting that people like Dennis Gonzalez and others responsible for economic development projects in Trenton have failed to do successfully.

This is just a little food for thought for our present council, and any aspiring council candidates who want to make a bigger dent in the city's development future.

The law says you can do just as much as the other, supposedly equal executive branch can do.

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