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I am writing to address several recent series of articles regarding the shopping center development in Centerville and the slanderous charges being made against the developer and city officials by the "Concerned Citizens of Centerville."

I am a principal in KFR Properties, the company that assembled the property and applied for and received the government approvals for the development. When Mr. Putnam and friends make the slanderous suggestions that there was any wrongdoing during the entitlement process, they are impugning my integrity, the integrity of my company and the integrity of the team of professional consultants who worked diligently for a long time to make this project a reality.The city conducted a protracted public approval process for this project. First, the city rezoned the property, a process that included no less than three public hearings. Then the city amended its master street plan, which again required public hearings. The city then approved a planned unit development, which was done over the course of seven public planning commission meetings. Finally, the city, meeting as the Redevelopment Authority, approved "tax increment financing" for the project, again holding public meetings. The TIF was used to reconfigure the streets surrounding the site which, prior to this project, were a major safety hazard.

After the planning commission unanimously approved the project, Mr. Putnam filed an appeal, contending that the project would violate federally defined wetlands on the property. In accordance with code, the City Council conducted a public hearing to consider the appeal. Mr. Putnam came to the meeting with a consultant who admitted on the record that he had never even walked on the property. Mr. Putnam said he had no other evidence regarding wetlands. We, on the other hand, had engaged a qualified wetlands consultant who had walked the site with a representative of the Army Corps of Engineers to de-ter-mine whether or not wetlands were present. The Army Corps subsequently issued a permit for the project.

I would encourage the individuals being slandered by this irresponsible group to do as I am and investigate potential legal remedies. Mr. Putnam is unhappy because after a legal, public process, he simply did not get his way. He is slandering hard-working, ethical people because he has no legal recourse.

George Riemer

Los Angeles