Eight days ago John Kasich did a press conference with Mark Kvamme (former, short-lived and illegally appointed head of the Dept of Development) and the CEO of Bob Evans to announce the state would be giving Bob Evans $8 Million to move its headquarters from Columbus to New Albany.
If you were gullible enough to believe the tale John Kasich was spinning then you might actually think Bob Evans was ready to pack up and move its entire operation to Texas until Kasich’s team moved in at the “speed of business” and saved the day!
The real story is much less sexy.
As we’ve been reporting, Bob Evans had been looking for the best deal for months and had been playing Ohio cities against each other in order to get it. And even though Dan Williamson from Mayor Coleman’s office confirmed that they never actually considered moving out of state, Kasich continues to tell the story (read: lie) about Texas as a serious option for the company.
Let me be clear: I’m a fan of Bob Evans restaurants in large part because they are an Ohio-based company. I eat at the one right around the corner with my family at least once a week. And I don’t plan on changing my eating habits just because they went along with the Governor’s lies to get 8 million bucks in free cash to move their headquarters.
That said, there is absolutely no way anyone is telling the truth here except maybe Dan Williamson from Mayor Coleman’s office. And as further proof the Governor is lying, I took a trip over to New Albany today to check out the site of the new Bob Evan’s headquarters for myself.
Based on Kasich’s statements last week you would think we narrowly averted the disastrous departure of the Bob Evans Corporation from Ohio.
According to the people I spoke with at the construction site, development started weeks before Kasich even mentioned the deal. And as you can see by the pictures I took this afternoon, the site has been cleared and roads are already being constructed and Bob Evans is/was well on its way to having a new headquarters long before John Kasich ever got involved.