The city's agreement with Milam et. al. calls for five-year gag order

The city of Henderson's agreement with developer Chris Milam calls for a five-year "non-disparagement" period, which he agreed to but was a deal-killer for others.

The agreement, with redlines from some affected parties, is attached here. The disclosure comes on the heels of consultant Michael Ford's broadside against the city, basically wondering how he can get his reputation back if the city won't let him talk.

Ford said he would agree to "no restriction at all" and said Henderson refused to agree to excise what the city called standard non-disparagement clauses. (By the way, I have some familiarity with such clauses as I was once asked to sign one and refused. It is tantamount to a muzzling.)

Ford says his attorneys told the city the provision was "a deal killer" He said his lawyer, former Supreme Court Justice Bill Maupin, called Henderson's outside counsel " to convey that position directly and the (city's) response was to summarily dismiss any and all change... We stated both parties should be free to make whatever statements they choose -- especially since the (city) has been popping off to the (Review-Journal) for the last two months while we have said nothing....any statement I make based upon the 'truth' could/will be construed as disparaging to the (city).  In other words, the "truth" in and of itself is disparaging to the (city)."

That is, Henderson just might believe the truth will not set it free.