In today's El Diario the paper editorializes its praise for the community benefits agreement that was negotiated for the Gateway Mall project. Before everyone goes gaga over this CBA shouldn't the document be examined for credibility? After all it wasn't negotiated by anyone from the community so the "C” in CBA should stand for Carrion and not those community groups that he appointed to serve as window dressing for a pact that was really, "of Adolfo, by Adolfo, and for Adolfo."
How much of the money "negotiated" (for want of a more honest term) is going to government institutions that are controlled by the BP? How will the terms of this deal be enforced? If Wal-Mart is enjoined from the mall how is this legally enforced? Who will determine the lucky 2,000 folks who will have their membership fees partially waived? (another benny for the BP?). After talking to some experts in the coming days, we’ll we have a more in-depth deconstruction of this agreement.
It's time for the City Council to craft some standards for the negotiation of CBAs and enshrine these standards in an accountable development policy that creates some equity and transparency. Let's cut through all of the rhetoric and look at this Gateway agreement clearly.
One other thing. In the El Diario editorial the paper comments that the BTM merchants "want to move as a group to a new location" but have been unable to strike a deal with the city. "According to Carrion's office, the matter is still being negotiated." Really? By whom? Another example of the BP’s lack of honesty in this whole affair. If he had given a rat's ass about the merchants they would be preparing for the move to their new location as we speak. Instead it is the BTM merchants who are, because of the BP's indifference, the real carrion.