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Council on LATC: Decide Later

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2005, at 12:35PM

The issue of the LATC went before the full Council today. I'm not going to rehash anything, since you can get all that in previous posts. The motion before the Council was to receive and file the RFP, with a recommendation to reject all bids. The Council did not do that, instead choosing without objection to continue the matter until the May 4th Council meeting (motion by Perry; second by Smith).

There was public comment again on the issue, and I'll only point out comments from a few speakers. The artistic director of Will & Company asked the Council to support the continuance. The members of his company could not be present since they were currently on stage at the LATC. Stan Sosa of the Latino Museum said that the combined bid of LTC and the Museum would be a "profoundly better" use, and would "reach more people." Brady Westwater, president of DLANC, complained about the absense of proper notification and asked that there be time given for the issue to go to the neighborhood council.

Councilman Smith was the first Council speaker (after Jan Perry's initial framing of the issues and motion for continuance). He said that he went into the Budget & Finance meeting undecided on the issue, but came out very wary of the path the process was taking. He questioned the cost of restarting the process. He also had strong words on the way in which the Latino Theatre Company was presenting their information.

Finally, what really bothered me and what tipped me over the edge was that after an hour and half of discussion it was discovered in the proposal to the state of California by the Latino Museum that they are pledging our property to get the four million dollar grant. Now that was not something... I was not aware of... Dont' shake your heads; it's right here in your proposal. I've got the copy of the agreement. So don't shake your heads and say no that's not true: it's in there, you admitted it in committee the other day.

Councilman Cardenas refuted the idea that the building would need to be given to the LTC for the state money to be received. In communications with this state he's determined that a twenty-year lease would suffice. He blamed the language in the application on poor writing in Sacramento.

Councilwoman Miscikowski said that currently the Council is comparing two different things: a short-term deal vs. a long-term one. She would not support entering into negotiations with just one party, but would be in favor of seeing what else is out there.

Finally Councilman Parks brought up that the four million dollars in state money might not be awarded if the LTC doesn't have appropriate control of the building by May 17th.

Councilwoman Perry agreed to Tom Gilmore's request that the continuance be three weeks instead of two, and there was no objection to the change.

Between Now and May 4th

The important thing to note is that no negotiation can be done between now and May 4th. The RFP is still on the table, and the City is in no way able to even discuss with the LTC what a deal might look like until what point as the RFP is received and filed (and thereby rejected). If May 17th is really a deadline, this leads me to believe that things are going to happen fast and heavy after the 4th. A process would need to be decided and a deal struck in less than two weeks. That seems to me uncomfortably quick.

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