i will second that notion. i had a coworker (who also owns some real estate) tell me that they were trying to buy some properties in granite for rent to own houses (that is the program they are involved in).
"We don't want renters in this town" was the exact quote she received.
I dont know about the inner workings, or any history (because there are usually 10 sides to every story)...but I do know that the above (and there was more to the exchange, but I only remember that exact quote because I know what it means) happened.
As far as this goes, I never saw anything in the news paper, but I would think...going forward on stuff like this...we use the technology (and the cost avoidances it creates) to better put these public announcements out there.
No one reads the paper, and the paper is not the best way to reach the common person (unless you know something is going to be in the paper) in the current world (or even 5 years ago....) and in my view, better public declaration of intent to sell would alleviate stuff like this.
As far as the lady who purchased the property and the town selling it.
It is (the way I understand it) a way to get that off of the tax rolls. The parking lot was the main reason for acquisition, and the house came with the package.
The city, to take it off of its tax bill, sold the property to a proven local business leader (Ms. Whitaker) at a low cost that WAS (as far as I understand) publicly-allowable to be bid on.
Is it right? Yes.
Is it ethical (if you are in business today that operates nationally or internationally or both, you will know that ethics is a pretty big (public) thing they adhere to)? Probably not.
That is the difference, I think, we need to recognize so we dont go off on emotional tangents that are usually not very factual.