Parker Leavitt, a reporter with AZ Republic, has written two remarkable news articles that appeared in today’s online edition which reveal more clearly than ever that Gilbert’s insistence that $300k per acre for parkland was justified, was not justified at all. In fact, nothing adds up. There have been conflicting statements from Gilbert public officials, conflicting statements from the appraiser Dennis Lopez, and admitted ignorance from Council Members Dave Crozier and Les Presmyk. Linda Abbott apparently had nothing to say.
“When asked last summer by The Republic to provide appraisals on the properties, officials said there were none,” reported Parker. And yet, last week multiple appraisals for the land were discovered in the Town’s possession by Gilbert resident Jim Torgeson. Land was valued at $45k to $67 per acre, nowhere near $300k per acre.
So, why couldn’t Town staff find those appraisals? Why did the Town have to go to the original appraiser Marc Barlow, to get a copy?
“In defending the deal, officials have said opportunities were scarce to acquire other suitable land not owned by Zinke,” wrote Parker. “Not so,” stated Langley Properties owner Stacy Brimhall, who has been buying and selling land in the Southeast Valley for years. He pointed to a handful of nearby parcels that he said were up for grabs around that time.
The burning question that the taxpaying citizens of Gilbert should be asking is this: Who benefitted from this inflated $300k per acre purchase price and why? Somebody knows.
The Council Members who approved this deal, Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk are guilty of one of two things: 1) They were asleep at the switch; or 2) They were complicit. Either way, their “experience” while in office has done nothing to improve their judgment.
If these Council members were employees in private industry, there would be a security guard at their desk to escort them out to the street.
To read these articles, go here: