UPDATED, 3 P.M., Oct. 28: Mayoral candidate David Belle Isle took it on the chin from his opponents over his backing of a public-private city center plan that failed during the Debate Club candidate forum on Oct. 26.
Jim Paine and Doug DeRito participated in the forum, but Belle Isle left after making an opening statement. His two opponents fault him for his support of a public-private partnership in that previous City Center plan, which DeRito attacked as being sole sourced to one developer with no bidding process. And DeRito said Belle Isle has received a campaign contribution from that developer.
Belle Isle, in his , said he supports the current City Center plan and has a passion for downtown revitalization. He also pointed out after the forum that the developer was chosen by a committee with City Council approval.
Paine said the city's current plan–the third plan and first to use a bond referendum for fudning–is best because the city owns all 22 acres of the project, having spent general revenue fund tax dollars to purchase the additional acreage. He said the city's economic vitality depends upon this project.
Check back later on Patch for a story on the City Center and bond referendum, and for more from this candidate forum.