RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–It was a touchdown for the Washington Redskins, Richmond Mayor, Dwight Jones and the Bon Secours Health System when city council members approved of the plan to bring the NFL team’s training camp to Richmond.
However, a significant portion of that deal between the city and its sponsor, Bon Secours, still lingers.
Council members must approve of the plan to lease a 95-year-old, Westhampton school building to Bon Secours, at a low rate of $5,000 a year for sixty years.
Paul Goldman, political analyst and government watchdog, is calling time out. He says the mayor may not get his way with this part of the deal because the state’s constitution requires seven of nine council members to approve of this part of the deal instead of the usual five.
“The mayor needs the people he defeated in order to get his Redskins deal ,” says Goldman.
He’s talking about council members like Marty Jewell and Bruce Tyler, who typically oppose the mayor and who just lost their bid for re-election.
“Right now, we’ve been given one choice and I don’t think that’s the right answer,” says Councilman Tyler. The First District councilman tells CBS 6 that he plans to vote no, unless the mayor’s administration can present him with options and more details about what Bon Secours plans to do with the property.
“To turn it over to somebody without having dialogue about what it should or shouldn’t be is wrong,” says Tyler.
Councilman Chris Hilbert opposed the original deal to bring the training camp to Richmond and CBS 6 also spoke with Councilman Marty Jewell who says he will oppose this portion of the deal unless the mayor can explain how taxpayers will benefit.