Mayor moves to prevent vote on downtown hotel project

downtown hotelMayor Sly James introduced a measure Thursday that would deny a public vote on construction of a Downtown convention hotel.

A conservative opposition group called Citizens for Responsible Government raised more than the 1,700 signatures needed for an initiative vote, but city lawyers contend the effort is legally flawed.

That is because it comes after a series of contracts  and agreements between the city and the developers related to the 800-room, $311 million hotel.

The Thursday resolution states that adopting the initiative petition would violate the state constitution and city contract obligations.

Developers contend that a delay for such a vote could lead to higher costs and endanger the project.

The opponents are still pressing for a vote. In an email to the city attorney on Oct. 14, they said, “We are going to ask the city council to place the petition on the first available ballot to be voted on.”

The resolution was assigned to the council Ethics and Legal Review Committee. It meets Monday at 1 p.m.

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