September 16, 2018 Ken Davidson
“This move shows blatant contempt for the Council. We are concerned with the [financial] condition of the City. . . I do not believe it is legal to transfer City property without Council approval.” Sparks-Wade stated.
September 16, 2018-Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson purported to transfer title to the public safety facility located at 555 Polk Street from the City of Gary to the Gary Redevelopment Commission. The transfer was recorded in the County records on June 20, 2018 but was never presented to the Common Council. As is often the case in Gary, the Mayor went to the Board of Public Works and Safety to rubber-stamp the transfer. The address was listed as 540 Tyler Street in the transfer documents.
The deed was executed on May 23, 2018, shortly after Council Member LaVetta Sparks-Wade publicly revealed that the Freeman-Wilson Administration had illegally transferred millions of dollars from the Ambulance/EMS Fund to various other funds, including redevelopment, without Council Approval. Mayor Freeman-Wilson has requested that the Council sign off on a $40M sale and lease back of the public safety facility. During the discussions, it was never mentioned that the property has been transferred to the Gary Redevelopment Commission. The Gary Redevelopment Commission is a separate legal entity, run by a board that includes “we tell them who to vote for” Reverend Marion Johnson. The Board has voted a unanimous and enthusiastic “Yes” to every request this Mayor has ever made. It is unclear at this point if the proceeds of any sale and lease back would go to the City coffers or the Gary Redevelopment Commission.
We reached out to Sparks-Wade and Council President Brewer after learning of the transfer of the property. Council President Brewer did not answer our call. Sparks-Wade was unaware of the transfer of the building containing the police station and City Court until we provided the copy of the deed, below. “This move shows blatant contempt for the Council. We are concerned with the [financial] condition of the City. . . I do not believe it is legal to transfer City property without Council approval.” Sparks-Wade stated.
Source / Full Article: http://nwigazette.com/2018/09/16/gary-mayor-transferred-title-public-safety-facility-redevelopment-commission/