Letter: City council, CRC share blame in hotel cost overruns 

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Editor,

Carmel has the swankiest hotel in the state, and we overpaid for it!

A final report regarding the Carmichael Hotel’s cost debacle has been released and responded to by a few. This is a four-year case study of mismanagement, poor communication, politics and failing to hold those accountable.

The report provides 10 sophomoric recommendations, one of which is to have one Carmel City Council member on the Carmel Redevelopment Commission. That should be two, not one, to ensure fairness and transparency. The report contains Project and Business Management 101 types of recommendations. I hope the city council didn’t pay for this report because if they did, they paid for something they should have already known and implemented. I’m bewildered why these recommendations have not been in place since the start of the CRC?

A fair amount of “comment dodging” appears to be happening. No surprise because more than one person has failed the residents of Carmel. The CRC’s executive director’s comments fall pitifully short: “The hotel has hosted an international conference and just posted its first $1 million revenue month, so I’m focused on the next 100 years of value and civic pride the Carmichael will bring to taxpayers.”

I was expecting, “We have already implemented many of the report’s recommendations and will continue working closely with the city council and other entities to ensure all future projects are professionally managed.”

Fundamental project governance behaviors and actions were not followed, resulting in avoidable outcomes and excess expenses.

Let’s hope it never happens again.

Derek Gryna, Carmel


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