Scientology's pitch to Clearwater: Let us buy land for hotel, and we'll gussy up downtown - 2017-03-19
This week Scientology leader David Miscavige met separately with members of Clearwater's City Council to discuss his plan for a business district in the downtown area. We have notes made by the officials, and they clear up some misconceptions about the project. A report in the Tampa Bay Times that all property owners in the four by four block area would be required to sell to the church or a group of wealthy members is largely false, and Miscavige angrily denied that he wants full control over the area to the council members. "Mr. Miscavige reported that he did not have intent to control or exercise oversight of Downtown Clearwater as had been reported in the press," says councilman Bill Jonson.
"Mr. Miscavige spoke first of his frustration of not being able to roll out his ideas to the public on a timetable he had wanted to, because of the newspaper stories that he said were largely inaccurate," says councilman Bob Cundiff. Press reports that private owners to have to sell would require "eminent domain" by the city, which would be hugely unpopular in Clearwater if it benefited Scientology. The city, county, state and federal buildings in the district are not for sale, and we haven't found any business owners who have been approached to sell. David Miscavige did not ask any of the council members for a mandate to sell properties in the district to the church.