Letter to the Editor: Disturbing election-altering “spin” from City of Lake Forest Park regarding key city projects

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

To the Editor:

I received a highly disturbing Letter from the City of LFP to its email subscribers on Thursday, 10/17/19 last week. The Letter can be found here. The Letter includes analysis regarding “return on investment” (ROI) achieved to date from funds spent by the City on its “Big Five” projects. The “Big Five” refers to five distinct initiatives the City has identified as strategically important. These include the Town Center Plan, and four other initiatives related to creeks, streets, parks, etc.

My concerns include the following:
  1. The Letter is HIGHLY MISLEADING!!
  2. The email was sent to citizens the day after November ballots were sent out!!
  3. The Letter is DRAFT (does not appear to be final).
  4. Who approved it?
In the letter, the City’s Finance Director and Administrator analyze “Big Five” expenditures. They state the City has “earned” a ROI of $4 million dollars on $1.6 million spent so far (2.5 times the investment). In reality, 59% of total expenditures have been spent on the Town Center project, with zero return on that project!!

Further, calculating a ROI requires consideration of total project cost compared to final project value. There is no value, not one shovel of dirt has been dug to date! Further, a grant is a funding source, NOT profit to the City. Finally, grants for other “Big 5” initiatives have nothing to do with funds paid to Town Center Consultants!

The City should retract the Letter, explain who released it, and apologize for misleading the voters!!

Gregory Van
Lake Forest Park



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