Memo to Statesman: Show Us the Money

What’s most disturbing about Statesman’s PR push to pass their urban-scale resort, is the cynical way they seek to divide the Brinnon community. Their PR materials paint a picture of a bleak and depressed Brinnon with no alternative but to throw our lot in with a Canadian developer and hope the benefits trickle down. 

Are we that gullible and desperate? Apparently. The Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) and Department of Community Development (DCD) are willing to let this developer come up with one overblown proposal after another with no financial assurances that we won’t foot the bill for their mistakes. 

What are Statesman's financial fantasies?

In one harebrained scheme, Statesman sought to attract rich Chinese to finance their scheme. That failed. Then they proposed that Jefferson County “grant” them $2 million, the state “grant” then nearly $10 million and issue $26.5 million in tax-free bonds so they can build a "Recreation Family Park" and "Tribal Interpretative Center" that nobody asked for. This is the sketchy proposal from Statesman:

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Statesman tried to pull a similar scheme in British Columbia, September, 2017. This was the reaction of the Mayor of Invermere to the Statesman proposal (Columbia Valley Pioneer):

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Statesman also has a habit of misrepresenting their developments and front-running their resort schemes.  Statesman presents the Black Point resort as a done deal with houses seemingly ready to be sold. A Canadian Municipality was not pleased with Statesman's misrepresentation of the Invermere Master Planned resort proposal (Columbia Valley Pioneer):

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In another gross misrepresentation, James Mazak of Synergy Planning has claimed for more than a year that the Master Planned Resort is "completed" and "approved and adopted by Jefferson County as a new Master Planned Resort." Hardly.

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It’s stunning that elected officials, and candidates for office, don’t understand their fiscal responsibility to taxpayers. Other counties that approved MPRs (Master Planned Resort, allowing for ‘urban-size’ development) have done independent financial analysis and insisted on verifying the ability of the developer to finance the project. Once approved, Statesman can then flip the project to another developer, as we go through this process again.

Ten years of bickering over a resort that can’t be financed and will probably never be built, illustrates the failure of the county to plan for its communities. Brinnon has a sub-area plan that articulates the will of the people of Brinnon. We’re an isolated Rural Village. We want appropriate services, job opportunities, and moderate development. In the 16 years since that plan was adopted, not one single policy, goal, or strategy has been implemented. 

We have four words for The Statesman Group: SHOW US THE MONEY.