By: Lydia Crawley
The Parsons Advocate
A number of lots at the center of a legal tug of war between Riverwalk Development Property Developer Pete Johnson and the Town of Davis was the subject of a special meeting by the Town Council in conjunction with the Building Commission and Parks and Recreation Commission. The agenda listed the reason behind the meeting to be in order to, “finalize the settlement of the eminent domain litigation with Peter Johnson/Davis Riverwalk Development.”
Several members of the public were on hand for the meeting. Following a call to order and roll call, the council entered into executive session. Several members of the public expressed displeasure over the motion.
Davis resident Craig O’Connor addressed the council regarding the executive session decision. “Could I ask respectfully that you not go into executive session,” O’Connor said. “It’s not necessary. You don’t have to go into executive session.”
Town of Davis Mayor Al Tomson replied to O’Connor’s request. “We want to,” Tomson said.
O’Connor further said that there had been repeated requests for information following past executive sessions. “I just don’t see the need,” O’Connor said. “This has been going on forever. We’ve been asking you every time you go into executive session to let us know what is going on here.”
After approximately twenty-five minutes, the council returned. A motion was passed that gave Tomson the authority to sign all documents regarding the eminent domain release. A following motion to adjourn the special session immediately followed.
Following the adjourning of the special session, Tomson approached a man seated at the front of the public seating and announced to the crowd that he would be holding a meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission with the gentleman and another member who was present on the phone. “We are going to have a meeting of the P&R,” Tomson said. “Ronnie’s a member and I am a member and I have Joannie on the phone who is a member. So, we have established that we have a quorum.”
The only business conducted by the Parks and Recreation Commission was a motion by the gentleman present to allow Tomson to sign the eminent domain release on behalf of the board. Following approval, the meeting was immediately adjourned and the Town of Davis commenced their regularly scheduled session.
The issue of the eminent domain filing appeared late on the agenda for the Town Council. Mayor Tomson addressed the room when the agenda item was reached. According to Tomson, while the council had discussed a mutual release agreement, nothing had been finalized. However, once an agreement is final, both parties are anticipated to publish a mutual public statement, according to Tomson. “We went into executive session to talk about the mutual release agreement,” Tomson said. “It’s not finalized, I’m not at liberty to talk about it yet and there is a public statement that will be mutually released by Pete Johnson and by the Town of Davis when everything is approved.”
Tomson went on to explain that the statement would be published in the newspaper and be available to the public. “It will be published in the paper,” Tomson said. “So that is coming, but it is not ready yet.”
No date for the next Town of Davis Council meeting was given.