I will admit I was impressed by the people on Paul’s transition team, all very smart and talented, including this curious selection;
former economic development manager and Lloyd Companies executive Erica Beck
While Erica will certainly bring a lot to the table when it comes to urban planning, I think Paul should know better considering this is a HUGE conflict of interest having an executive from aÂ private developer that has reaped millions in TIF’s and special land deals from the city helping with his transition. It doesn’t look good, you know, kind of like getting campaign contributions from toddlers.
As I understand it, Erica was NOT terminated from the city as an urban planner but quit after being forced to write the Sanford Sports Complex TIF after her initial objections. Not only did the TIF set precedent because it was the largest the city had ever issued (I believe around $9 million) it was given to a project that had NO blight. I would also guess that she took issue with her former boss’s incompetence, Darrin Smith.Â A guy who went from running a non-profit to running the parking ramps in the city to becoming the director of community development. At least Erica will be able to recommend what NOT TO DO.
At least Paul is being transparent about the team.
UPDATE: The story this morning is that Beck is leaving Lloyd companies to work for TenHaken and the city. Not sure if that is the case, but if it is true, I would predict she would either be his Chief of Staff or more likely run Community Development with Ketchum either being terminated or demoted. This would also setup Beck running the Planning Department once Cooper retired. I will say this, Beck is a very talented urban planner and very capable of running any of these departments. IfÂ Paul does bring her on, it shows he wants to surround himself with talented, independent voices, unlike our current King who only wants yes men and liars.
I have also heard from another reporter that Paul’s campaign manager, TJ Nelson will become his deputy chief of staff.