Even in light of a murky new location proposal, we plan on moving forward with our protest and press conference at the Commerce Corporation HQ today. The initial proposed stadium location on the I-195 land was/is only a small part of a very bad deal. The questions of tax subsidies and property tax abatements continue to be the crux of the issue for the vast majority of Rhode Island and Providence residents.
Now, here's the twist/non-twist in the story. Even though today's meeting has been supposedly changed to 'open', the I-195 Redevelopment Commission HAS NOT ALTERED TODAY'S AGENDA, as per the Secretary of State's office. The only portions of the meeting set to take place outside of a closed-door, executive session are the welcoming remarks and the vote to adjourn. Maybe we're confused on the definition of 'open'...
To that end, if you can't make today's protest, we are asking once again that you call or email the folks in charge of negotiating this preposterous deal, but it turns out that person is not who you'd expect. While the official spokesperson for the I-195 Commission is Dyana Koelsch, and commission member Jan Brodie is listed as the contact person on the agenda of today's meeting, but the official contact person for the I-195 Commission is listed as one Charles "Chip" Rogers, an attorney at Locke Lord Law offices. Locke Lord also happens to be the same firm that employs Paw Sox managing partner, wait for it....., James J. Skeffington!
Previously, we have urged you to call and email your government officials. Today we're asking that you contact the state's shadow government and ask them why today's agenda has not been updated to reflect the 'team owners wishes' (Yeah, right...) to have the meeting held in the open.
Charles "Chip" Rogers
Attorney at Locke Lord and Associates
(Side note: Why in God's name is the official contact person for a state commission is not using a state email address that is subject to public records requests is beyond us. Once again, transparency is sidestepped.)