(Re: “10 years later, Ripon still feeling effects of Boca,” Oct. 31, 2019) In the above news report, Aaron Kramer attempts to defend his key mayoral role in the “Boca-Ripon Renew” debacle that has cost the Ripon community so dearly!

     Kramer was Mayor in October, 2009. He negotiated a highly flawed, confusing agreement drafted by James Connelly and his Foley and Lardner colleagues — a contract in parts contrary to the advice of  City Administrator Steve Barg.

     Phil Cosson, the City’s bond counsel then and today, wrote to the Mayor and Council in late September 2009 detailing some of the considerable risks the proposed Boca project would entail for Ripon if it were approved. His letter was not made public until months later. Advice from expert outside real estate attorneys was mostly avoided.

     Connelly and Kramer persuaded and convinced the City Council members to approve the deficient (from the City’s best interests) agreement titled “Ripon Renew” October 29, 2009.

      Days later Boca withdrew $2,870,000, as allowed by the agreement, an outright cash grant to fund an Inn and Spa project that never materialized. Also, Boca borrowed $3,120,000 from the City between November 3, 2009 and September 1, 2010. Only two projects — Roadhouse Pizza and Granite Broadband/Boca Grande Capital LLC offices and apartments were ever completed.

     Kramer bailed out to another city, but not until January 2010, months after the pathway to failure was laid and several million dollars of the City’s wealth was already lost or at risk on Boca. ...

— Dave Gray
733 Newbury St.

      Editor’s note: Dave Gray was mayor of Ripon from 1986 to 1988.

     To read the entire letter, see the Nov. 7, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.