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"You don't get to move next to a pig farm and then complain about the smell," Epstein told the crowd to cheers and applause.
KCIR supporters pointed to the letter sent to Park outlining condemnation proceedings as proof that the city was planning to take possession of the track regardless of NP3's move to sell.
"So that begs the question of whether this was truly voluntary," Epstein told the demonstrators. "When you're given something with all of their rights under a condemnation lawsuit, I don't know how else you're supposed to take that."
City officials, including Mayor Sly James, refute these claims. Anderson, who has negotiated city deals for land for several years, says the process was relatively routine. He doesn't understand why the City Council is the target of race fans' rancor.
"I really don't know why there's been a war when we just really negotiated this thing out. And other than an argument or two about maybe certain things that happen in every negotiation, we've gotten along really well," he says.
On November 9, race fans posted to the "Save KCIR" Facebook page a letter that they attributed to the mayor.
In the letter, James wrote: "In short, the facts as I know them are that in January 2011, the owner of the property approached the city with an offer to sell. The owner and the city then entered into negotiations. A fair price was agreed upon. The City Council and I were asked to agree to the negotiated terms at last week's session. We unanimously voted to purchase the property from the owner. Agreeing to the negotiated price has been the only action the City Council has taken on this issue. Condemnation requires public hearings and a Council vote. The Council was never approached nor asked to consider condemnation of this property. The bottom line is the owner wanted to sell, the city wanted to buy, terms were mutually agreed to, and the transaction occurred."
Anderson also says condemnation was a nonissue. The city never moved to, or had plans to, condemn.
Patrick Ferguson, the city's right-of-way agent who sent the letter to NP3, says a similar letter is sent to property owners in 99 percent of cases in which Kansas City is negotiating to buy a piece of land.
Anderson adds: "I don't think they [Park and NP3] were afraid of condemnation anyway."
Park has a different take on his mindset during negotiations: "The old adage that it's hard to fight city hall or it's impossible to fight city hall, it's pretty true."
Park says he and his investors weren't in a position to take on Kansas City in a legal battle. He claims that they were left with only one choice: sell.
"The city keeps on saying, 'We didn't condemn the property.' That's true," he says. "They absolutely didn't condemn it. But it was absolutely under the threat of condemnation."
Park says his and the city's original plan was for him to run the track while developing a new location. He says that plan would have worked, and he insists that NP3 offered to sell the land for less than the price it received in exchange for the chance to operate the track for five more years. Selling this fast was not his plan.
"Things came together a lot quicker than we thought," he says. But Park says the city played hardball. "It was pretty much that [deal] or nothing."