Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms pulled an expected vote on the Gulch deal from the agenda of a Wednesday special-called meeting of the City Council.
Thursday, the council's president, Felicia Moore, called a special meeting for October 24th, which was to focus on water and sewer bonds. Moore also included the public financing package for the $5 billion Gulch development. The next day, Friday, Bottoms' Chief of Staff Marva Lewis wrote in a memo to Moore stating that the mayor’s office wanted the legislation removed from the agenda, saying the plan to include it was based on the understanding that outside counsel would have details of the new plan ready for review by October 17.
"It is the desire of Mayor Bottoms that the members of Council have adequate time to review and consider the newly negotiated terms of this development deal," wrote Lewis. "Therefore, it is requested that all of the legislative items related to the Gulch development be removed from the agenda of the special called meeting to allow time for the Council to review the information that will be provided."
Atlanta City Councilman Michael Bond tells WSB he has been briefed on vastly-improved new deal for the Gulch, which he says may ease critics' concerns.
"The most significant change is that the public indebtedness drops from a $500 million bond issuance down to $25 million," says Bond. "Most people who heard about this deal had sticker shock over the city's contribution...half a billion dollars."
Council members are expecting to get the newest version of the plan this weekend.
The Community Development/Human Resources Committee is expected to take it up Tuesday at 12:30, giving the council and public a good two weeks to pore over the amended proposal. Bond says it's a lot better than expecting the council to vote on it the next day.