Development proposals for Evansville hotel pits councilman again - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Development proposals for Evansville hotel pits councilman against mayor

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says he's meeting with members of the city council about the company he's picked to develop the downtown hotel.

But at least one council member says he's declined the invitation, saying those meetings should be made public.

Development proposals for the downtown Evansville hotel project have pitted 6th Ward Councilman Al Lindsey against Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.

"All I want is the information," Councilman Lindsey said.

"The fact of the matter is, Councilman Lindsey does not understand the process," Mayor Winnecke said. 

At issue? Meetings with members of the city council behind closed doors.

"Why can't we be more transparent. I mean, what's the secret," Councilman Lindsey said. 

"Enough is enough. If he chooses not to participate in the process, that's his choice. I think it's a weak choice. I think it's poor," Mayor Winnecke told 14 News. 

The mayor calls the private talks 'courtesy meetings' to bring the council "up to speed".

But Lindsey says that gives tax-payers the wrong impression.

"When you do business behind closed doors and it's the public's business, it always has the look and the feel of a deal that you don't want to say in public," Councilman Lindsey said. 

Winnecke says it's not the council but the redevelopment commission that will pick a developer.

Lindsey calls the relationship strained.

"As far as strained, I'm going to be myself. Hopefully, a sounding board for the people I represent," Councilman Lindsey told 14 News.

"Clearly we don't agree on everything, but if he thinks it's strained, he's welcome to his interpretation," Mayor Winnecke said.

The mayor tells 14 News he will not announce his pick at Tuesday's Redevelopment Commission meeting, but at another meeting later this month.

It appears the project is not completely out of the council's hands. The mayor says it will likely need funding that the council must approve.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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