Lushis stressed that, when the committee’s work is done, the county, township and school district will act in public to decide if they want to “opt into the TIF or opt out.”

In Washington County, the court ruled against a citizen who maintained TIF committee meetings should be open under the Sunhine Act, said Joseph Logan of Mullin & Lonergan Associates, who was introduced by Lushis as one of the state’s foremost authorities on TIF. Logan indicated he’s been involved in more than 20 TIF projects across the state and none had public committee meetings. “There is no requirement in the Sunshine Act for a TIF committee.”

Lushis said having public meetings public would work against the objective of completing the committee’s work in a timely manner. No one offered commissioners a timetable, but Feinberg later said: “My guess is three to six months.”

Lushis said developing a TIF plan involves very tedious financial work. He said outside professional consultants do much of the work to develop such a plan. The developers also will work closely with the committee.