WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - One week after questions were raised about the future of prime real estate the City of West Palm Beach gave to Digital Domain Media Group to build its Digital Domain Institute, Mayor Jeri Muoio has yet to publicly weigh in on the company's failure and answer questions about the future of the property.
"When there's bad news or troubling news, you know, when it's not going to be pretty, politicians often step back and try to protect themselves. They don't know maybe what to say, maybe sometimes [they] don't know what exactly to say," said Tom Duncan, president of Northwood University. "News is a lot more managed now than it used to be and maybe the people don't benefit as much from managed news. Maybe they would be better if the politicians and the candidates of all parties would speak more directly to the people."
The City has issued statements to WPTV NewsChannel 5 and Elliot Cohen, a City of West Palm Beach spokesperson, has answered some questions.
Still up in the air is whether the land, valued at $10 million, reverts back to the City under an agreement with the company.
The City has said it expects the land to be given back to the City. Some city commissioners, however, have said they were not sure.
The City has not said when Muoio would be made available to answer questions.
"I think that's probably counter-productive in the long-run -- even in the short run," Duncan said. "I think people want answers. They want to see their elected officials. And, I think people are forgiving. They understand that people are pressured and there's lots of sometimes bad news, difficult news, I just think people can handle it and we ought to let people have as much information as possible."