Originally Posted Online: May 13, 2013, 5:32 pm
Last Updated: May 14, 2013, 12:13 am
RDA losing 3 board members
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By Stephen Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Riverboat Development Authority will be losing three of its 12-member board of directors in the coming months, including the board chairman and the treasurer.
The three-year terms of RDA chairman Gary Mohr, treasurer Don Decker and member Betsy Brandsgard will be up at the end of June, according to RDA President Mary Ellen Chamberlin.
Ms. Chamberlin said RDA board members can serve two consecutive three-year terms but then have to be off the board for at least a year before they can run again. She said Mr. Mohr, Mr. Decker and Ms. Brandsgard have served two consecutive terms.
Mr. Mohr said the board meets June 24 and will discuss replacements. Mr. Mohr said the RDA bylaws state the existing members can stay on the board until replacements are appointed.
"The concern by some (RDA board members) is losing three of us, we would be losing a lot of history," Mr. Mohr said. "I'm not going to lobby anybody to stay on the board.
"That is a decision of the rest of the board. I have had some board members say, until this (casino) gets resolved, they would hate to lose the expertise of the current board members involved in this.
"If the rest of the board wants us to continue for a period of time, a month, two months, six months, we could do that."
Mr. Mohr said he, personally, would like to have a special meeting, probably in June, to discuss any RDA recommendations for a new casino license holder. Ms. Chamberlin said a special committee of RDA members will meet with three to five licensed casino developer/operators in the coming weeks.
In March, the RDA put plans for a city-owned, land-based casino on hold when it decided to seek proposals from potential casino developers. The RDA holds the gaming license for Rhythm City Casino, which is owned by Isle of Capri.
The IOC is working with the RDA to make a deal to sell the casino and build a land-based development, preferably on Interstate 80.
"I think the discussion about a recommendation for a new license holder should be at a separate meeting," Mr. Mohr said. "I think it's sufficiently important to warrant its own board meeting."
Mr. Decker, who has been a critic of the plan for a city-owned casino, also questioned a new city plan where it would invest $33 million in a casino project with local developer Rodney Blackwell and said he would like to see people with business backgrounds fill some of the vacant RDA positions.
"I don't care about staying on for three more years," Mr. Decker said. "But I tell you, I'd like to see this through. I'd like to be there when the shovel hits the dirt on Interstate 80. I want to make sure it just doesn't get screwed up."
Ms. Chamberlin said a five-member RDA executive committee will act as a nominating committee for new board members. She said the full RDA board would vote on those nominees.
"The nominating committee comes up with a recommended slate," Ms. Chamberlin said. "We take it to the full board, and the full board has to ratify that slate."