Clearwater officials bemoan lack of progress on land talks with Scientology

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CLEARWATER — The day after the City Council fired City Manager Jon Jennings and appointed Jennifer Poirrier as his interim successor, a series of blocked calls appeared on Poirrier’s cell.

She picked up on the fourth “No ID” call in a row. It was Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige.

“He called my personal phone, so I don’t know how he got that number,” she said.

Miscavige called on Jan. 6, Poirrier said, to explain he would soon arrange a meeting to catch her up on the discussions he’d been having with Jennings about the church’s plans for its downtown real estate.

The show of urgency from Scientology’s leader comes in contrast to the lack of progress on those plans despite 14 months of negotiations between Jennings and Miscavige.

Dozens of downtown properties are being held vacant by companies tied to Scientology, a situation Jennings said he was trying to remedy through a land swap with the church. But council members have expressed frustration that a deal has yet to materialize. They also said they are in the dark about the status of the negotiations with Miscavige because Jennings never disclosed details with them.

“Until I see some kind of something from the church … I just don’t think I can really trust them,” council member David Allbritton said at a work session on Monday.

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1 comment

  1. How can anyone hope to work with Scientology in good faith? It’s doubtful that Scientology’s dictator-in-chief David Miscavige will ever move forward in any meaningful way regarding the development of downtown Clearwater.

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