Hilliard

Landmark Lofts a conflict of interest?

To the Editor:

It appears the mayor's new city (and personal) slogan of "Real People, Real Possibilities" is correct if you know the right people.

In 1999, as president of A Citizens Coalition for Orderly Residential Development, we were negotiating aspects of the SOMA Development -- the Trueman Drive property between Cemetery and Davidson roads -- at a Hilliard City Council meeting.

Attorney Glen Dugger was adamant about annexing one house to Hilliard that did not directly abut the SOMA development as part of the PUD package, along with special concessions to accommodate this one property.

Charles Wilson asked, "Who owns this property and why is it so important?" Mr. Dugger never identified the owner of the residential property he wanted annexed into Hilliard.

This property belonged to Don Schonhardt, and once annexed, he was appointed to finish an unexpired term on City Council.

Fast forward to 2013 and the Landmark Lofts development in which the city passed the TIF as an emergency to get this current high density development underway and completed as soon as possible under the representation of Mr. Dugger.

The coincidence is that Mayor Schonhardt's private corporation, Government Resource Consultants, owns the property at 5307 Franklin St. It is within 150 feet of the Landmark Lofts development and will certainly benefit financially, if none other than property valuation, by any improvements made in that area.

I am concerned that Mayor Schonhardt sits on the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission and he has not recused himself from voicing any opinion on this development in public or closed door sessions. It represents a conflict of interest since he will benefit financially from this project.

Kerry J. Kay
Hilliard

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