The New York City city council has decided to hold a series of hearings on the just concluded Amazon HQ2 deal cut with the city. The council’s beef is the secretive nature of the negotiations between amazon.com and the folks purporting to represent the city.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Economic Development Corp President James Patchett, and Amazon executives have been invited to the hearings, which will take place during the next few months, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office said Thursday.
There’s nothing wrong with the negotiations themselves being done behind closed doors; that’s the only place “frank and open” discussions can occur.
Now that the negotiations are concluded, and before the city council has to vote on accepting or rejecting the deal—especially over what the negotiated deal wants to commit the city to—it’s time for the city council and its members’ constituents to hear the full details of the arrangement.
The council’s hearings should be open to the public and moved to a larger venue if needs be. If the constituents don’t like what they hear, the deal should be voted down. Or maybe the deal should be put to a referendum.
If amazon.com walks away from that, that would demonstrate the uselessness of the deal to the city’s residents.