Affordable housing meetings finish with no solutions and no refunds

Talk of the Town with Tom Hanson

The disguise for developers to get more work and make more money, better known at the affordable housing workshops, came to end on Tuesday night at the Bonita Springs City Hall.

Wow, Richard Woodruff with WilsonMiller, an engineering consulting firm, and Pete Mootz, the president of the Bonita Springs Affordable Housing Coalition, are a couple of slick speakers.

"The computer went out on cue and so I will dance," Woodruff said.

I never realized that the music ever stopped. It's been a week long Waltz. And at times they were dancing by themselves. They still didn't miss a step.

Woodruff made excuses for the low turnout at the week's worth of meetings. One meeting was even canceled because so few showed up. Only 20 people, mostly Wilson/Miller employees strategically scattered throughout the room to give off an illusion of high attendance, showed up for Tuesday's meeting

"It wasn't about the numbers that showed up it was about the quality of the inputs," Woodruff said.

Even more disturbing Woodruff explained that he would only be recapping the meetings and not giving any possible solutions for the affordable housing void.

"There is no simple solution or a silver bullet," Woodruff said.

Mootz started the meeting by reiterating the projected populations numbers supplied by a $70,000 study that was paid for by developers. Mootz emphasized that to fulfill the potential need for work force housing there will be a high demand for land.

And where are we going to get this land?

Hint, hint: The DRGR.

Woodruff rattled through most of the power-point presentation, which by the way had several typos (I guess spell checking wasn't included in the $70,000).

Yet, showing his true allegiance, Woodruff did stop to talk about the idea of fast tracking the permitting process. Woodruff stated that builders say that the process is too long.

"Time is money," Woodruff said.

He's right. Time is money.

And anyone who spent any time to paying attention to the week long affordable housing meetings should be asking for a refund.

Because in my mind, it was nothing but a week long infomercial for developers.

It was nothing but a waste of time.

  • Print