Friday, July 20, 2007


Potential Legal Snag for Harrison Square

"Some critics of the project say making an agreement with Hardball to manage the stadium without first having an open bid process is illegal, but city attorneys disagree.

"We've been working with the understanding the [stadium] is not a government public service and therefore not subject to that statute," City Attorney Tim Manges said. "

"Manges said several city attorneys are reviewing the court ruling and state law to double check if the stadium agreement is legal, and they should have a final review of the situation this weekend."

"The commission is holding a special session Monday to vote on the final developer agreements and city council will discuss the project Tuesday."


bud said...

The operative language is "upon which a public service is or may be provided."

Jason Freir/Greg Leatherma "this is a ballpark, not a stadium, 250 events per year, public meeting space, festival venue, concert setting, convention space, mixed-use, all things to all people" crap is going to come back to bite them in the ass.

Creating public venues for entertainment, gatherings and sports has long been a public service. Memorial coliseum ring a bell?

John B. Kalb said...

Bud - Thanks - I was about to post the same thing - It's good to know that I have lots and lots of support. I can't believe how many calls and emails of support I have received. I hope we are successful because we can save Fort Wayne a lot of headache when the present city administration is gone. Thanks again! John B. Kalb

Joe said...

John is getting very desperate...trying to find any and all local or state law which may make Harrison Square contentious. Harrison Square is a unique example and cannot even be compared to the State Developmental Center. The story was only covered by WANE...not either newspaper, or Indiana NewsCenter, wonder why?

barranda said...

To what end is your puruit Bud/John?

Let's say that the new stadium is intended to offer "public services" in addition to baseball games. Hardball could just operate the stadium for baseball games. Then everyone loses...whoopie!

Scott said...

Well John, you could be right. However you won't kill the project. It will only be delayed for a short while. Besides, they could just negotiate for the operator while they are building the stadium. You haven't actually done anything to kill this project. The city will have the last laugh. :)

John B. Kalb said...

Joe, Barranda & Non-S Scott:

Joe, I guess you don't read the JG but it was covered on Thursday AM - I guess that Kathleen Q. was not in because I did e-mail her a copy of my letter. I asked Indiana News Center to cover the Monday meeting instead of running something before(Jeff on vacation also).
I warned Mr. Becker 6 months ago, that if the boondoggle stadium remained in, I would do all that I could to stop it. I believe we still have a very good chance to do just that.
And it is "unique examples" that make good "case law". See for yourself - go to - go to last Monday, 7/16/07; go down to Stuller et al vs Governor Mitch et al;and read it - it's 27 pages which directly ADDRESS THE FACTS IN THIS SITUATION. Then see if you can repost what you just did.

Barrister Barranda: You might also, if you haven't already, take a peek at this ruling.
Our pursuit is to get the boondoggle stadium out of this project and to continue using, with updates, our present Castle for the Wizards.
If you think that our common council would approve the public funding WITHOUT PLANS TO USE IT the other 215 days a year when it will not be offering Wizards baseball after all the hype, you are living in a different town than we are!

Non-S Scott: Wake up - HARDBALL WILL NOT GO ALONG WITH ANY AGREEMENT WHERE THEY ARE NOT RUNNING THE SHOW - Scott, they will not own the Wizards anymore than two or three more years - they are an investment group - set up to take governmental entities for easy $$$millions$$$ and then bail out at a tidy profit - mark my words!! Do you remember a group called ENRON? John B. Kalb

Scott said...

Here is the site of the case opinion that John referenced.

Scott said...


Eventually there will come a time when there is nothing you can do to get the stadium out of the project. As a matter of fact there isn't anything that you can do to get the stadium out of the project. You can only delay the inevitable.

barranda said...

Killjoy Kalb,

Per your instructions, I have taken a peek at the ruling. I am always humored when people overstate their case; which I have observed your tendency to do so on many occasions. This one is no different. Obviously this case does not “directly address the facts in this situation.” One might argue that the case is similar. You’ll note the one glaring difference: The Stuller case involves the transition of a publicly operated entity…indeed its operation by the FSSA is defined by statute. So you think the operation of a ballpark is the same as the operation of a statutorily created center for disabled adults? You’re probably right.

Wait a second, I thought almost every opponent of the stadium argued that the government should not use public money for this private venture. I guess now the baseball stadium is a service customarily provided by the state.

But I’ll play along. Even assuming that the operation of the new stadium involves public services, the HS project is certainly not contingent on that. What might those services be? Having area high school sectional football games and a running track open to the public. You won’t kill the project, at best you’ll preclude Hardball from opening the facility to the public. On the other hand the bidding for the public services could simply be opened for bidding. I’m sure a lot of people will jump aboard for the highly profitable business of operating a public track and a couple football games a year.

bud said...


Keep plugging, John. Not intending to damn you with faint praise, but you've got a much better grasp of the issue than the second year lawyer from the third-rate law school with the first degree case of smugness.

I'm amused by his claim to be "humored" by your argument. But then, I've had the benefit of an education that included grammar studies.

John B. Kalb said...

Bud - As much as I appreciate your support, I feel your last post to this thread was out of order( the one at 12:40 today). Every one of us, in the heat of a discussion committ grammar and spelling errors. I have never met Attorney Barranda but I have read many of his posts, not only in re H.S. but other items that are of interest to the 30ies generation. I do at times make disparaging remarks about people I disagree with but I try to keep them general - like calling a group "knuckleheads", like I did this AM, for which Dan C. called me out on(probably he should have - I don't have any proof).
And barrister Barranda, I am sorry that one of the posts in re my activities about H. S. lead to the words in discussion. This town is, in the near future, going to need people like Scott S., his brother, Brian,Wendy Stein, yourself and a lot of others in your group to keep this town alive and well. John B. Kalb

barranda said...

Killjoy Kalb,

Obviously I have seen your posts regarding the HS square debate, and while I mostly disagree, I understand and respect your opinion. Most of us keep this debate in good fun, and I recognize that you have made an attempt to do just that; our shared mutual respect for Scott S. is a reflection of that. At any rate, I don't see that you have any reason for your to apologize to me.

I obviously saw your point and simply called you out for overstating the opinion in Stuller. That said, very few people (including the legal community) are even aware of the Stuller case, and your knowledge of it is certainly respected. In fact I think you'll agree that the statutorily created adult center versus a ball park is a big (perhaps fatal) distinction; however I'll agree that Hardball has agreed to operate the ball park for certain public uses. Nevertheless, I think we all know that those uses were only offered to win the battle in the court of public opinion. I can't imagine any circumstance where taking any public use out of the ball park would kill the project...only make less use of our tax dollars. That is obviously my opinion. Regards.

Joe said...

John, on one hand you say that this town needs people like Scott S., Brian, Wendy S., etc. But if you succeed in trying to kill this whole project, people like this will undoubtedly flock from this great city. I am myself a young professional (Purdue educated), and have spoken with Scott S. a few times about this very issue. If the project does not come to fruitition, both of us agreed that staying in Ft. Wayne is not likely.

bud said...


Get a dictionary. People don't "flock from" places. "Flock", as a verb, refers to a group being drawn to something or someone, i.e., the rent seekers, nepotists and insiders flocked to Graham Richard's municipal giveaway programs.

If your choice of community is tied to a single A baseball stadium and a Courtyard Mariott, well, we'll just have to struggle on without you. There are some young professionals looking to contribute to this City, not pouting and threatening to leave if the City won't buy their toy of choice.

Joe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Thanks for the terminology lesson professor. I didn't realize I was in an English 101 class. And struggle on without us, huh? It won't be just us buddy.

barranda said...


Did you intend to write something to me? While your post is addressed to me, you do not state anything responsive to my post. Unless, of course, you were simply providing my grammar lesson of the day. Cheers.

Wendy said...

I'm a little late to the conversation here, but will throw out my two cents anyway. John, thank you for the nice remarks.

Bud, it's not just a question of whether people leave or stay. I am here for the long haul. I grew up here, my family is here, my business is here - I can't imagine what would cause me to move away. But my enthusiasm for participating in the community might wane if every idea, every new project, everything resembling change is met with negativity and resistance.