As the George saga unfolds, it seems no one is immune from scrutiny, not politicians, homeowners, GABC, publishers, editors, business owners, supporters, detractors, even letter writers! No one, ironically, except the central character, developer Klaus Fuerniss.
Yes, extreme detractors make occasional allegations in social media about Fuerniss’s business practices in an attempt to cast doubt on the proposal. But these claims are unsubstantiated and irrelevant.
Alternatively, extreme supporters trumpet that Fuerniss has invested a considerable amount of time, effort and money into his proposal. Perhaps, but so what? That does not of itself lend the proposal any special credibility.
Pro-Georgers further maintain that Fuerniss is “a local businessman” who is “investing $50 million of his own money”, for which we should be impressed and grateful. To date, aside from the land, Fuerniss has more likely invested several hundred thousand dollars. Upon zoning approval, his condominiums would pre-sell to finance the project, with the remainder raised or borrowed. Fuerniss’s investment might be nothing near $50M. Only he knows. And he’s not saying.
What does exist for all to examine is Fuerniss’s portrayal of his proposal as “the goose that laid the golden egg.” Experience shows that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Caveat emptor!
Even more eyebrow-raising is Fuerniss’s “take it or leave it” ultimatum to Gibsons. Think about that! Is Gibsons that desperate? Fuerniss suggests that without approval he will ‘just’ build condominiums. So be it. At least they won’t be 135 feet high. At least condominiums won’t forever change Gibsons just to satisfy his vision.
Mr. Fuerniss has a big dream. He wants to convert our quaint town into a five star international destination. But who really shares his particular dream, aside from sycophants and those with $$$ signs in their eyes?
Alan Donenfeld, Gibsons