- Written by Mike Martin
Board member blames "media" for spreading untruths about plans that have always been little more than rumors
That bombshell revelation so completely befuddled members of Columbia's Historic Preservation Commission, nearby neighbors, and North Central Columbia Neighborhood association president Pat Fowler that a meeting yesterday with BCFR associate director Robyn Kaufman turned almost entirely on it.
It's almost unheard of for anyone -- particularly a large public agency -- to buy land without a plan, explained Realtor Brent Gardner, one of four HPC commissioners who attended. Lack of a plan has been the driving force behind rumors about the agency's intentions, Fowler noted.
"The records show that 308 St. Joseph passed inspection in June 2011. The house was sold to Boone County Family Resources later that summer. According to the records, the property was inspected 16 times from June 8, 2006 to June 14, 2011."
Simon dismissed the reports, Davis explained, in a way reminiscent of BCFR board member Paul Prevo, who attended the meeting yesterday as an HPC commissioner. The oddball dual-role -- which may be a conflict of interest -- had Prevo, a Hallsville-based real estate agent -- continually siding with BCFR, and trying to explain why the agency lacked a plan.
Prevo disputed fellow HPC commissioners Gardner and Patrick Earney, a structural engineer with Trabue, Hansen, and Hinshaw, saying it's common for organizations to buy land without a plan if it is adjacent to land they already own. "My wife is still mad at me for buying some land without a plan," Prevo said. He also blamed the media for rumors about BCFR's intentions.
That characterization doesn't square with this publication's experience, however. The Heart Beat's 2011 Trouble on Hubbell series originated entirely with BCFR's neighbors, who said they were distraught over years of stonewalling and the shroud of secrecy that remains.