To: The Editorial Board of the Saint Louis Business Journal
From: Travis H. Brown, President, Grow Missouri, Inc
Re: Editorial Response to 6/21/2018
Since Grow Missouri, Inc, and others were selected to advise the City on potential airport investment partnership, we have negotiated a robust, transparent and potentially effective process that will enable the City to intelligently explore its options at Lambert International Airport.
The development of these procedures involved intense negotiations between the adviser team and Mayor Krewson and President Reed and their staffs. The outcome of this process is a model for diversity and workforce development that will be copied by other cities. During that time the participants from the City were straightforward, honest in their representations, and insistent upon a diverse and equitable team and process.
The Business Journal’s complaint about President Reed’s role in this process is unfounded. His contributions to the negotiations were appropriate and beneficial. And at no time did he or his people make requests or suggestions that raised questions about his ethics or integrity.
Any civic effort of this magnitude is naturally going to require a lot of balance to properly administer. President Reed’s intentions during the negotiation of the advisory contract were entirely appropriate.
When multiple parties engage in a process this important, it is to be expected that there will be delays, conflicts, and different points of view that need patience to mature. These competing priorities and requests for services are not duplicative. Rather, President Reed and Mayor Krewson have jointly-developed a comprehensive adviser team capable of delivering transformative results for the City.
Within this initial contract, we now have the makings of a City government team that can work towards eleven guiding principles. Within this journey, we now have a model contract for minority inclusion for all future projects. Within this negotiation, we now have a model for regional workforce development strategies that can matter to all citizens.
Our region should welcome anyone with relevant experience and skills that could improve this City-owned airport.
It is likely that there will be many fact-based decisions with which to hold any public office accountable in the months ahead. The real inappropriateness from the onset would be assigning false claims that politicize this professional process.