The Tabares Building continues to occupy the various governmental processes about town. At the last city council meeting, Councilman Frank Mckenzie had some comments, which we present here, as there was no mention of these comments in the Tribune-Democrat article on the meeting:
McKenzie said he is sorry that he missed the joint meeting between the City Council and the Urban Renewal Board. He said he would like to address the Urban Renewal Board and make some comments and go on the record concerning the Plaza Building.
“Since I’ve been on Council, a year ago, Urban Renewal voted a majority vote to tear that building down. And the next meeting here we voted also to tear it down and we directed Rick to set out to get that done. I think that’s correct.
Then I attended an Urban Renewal meeting where Rainy Melgosa came in and presented another plan after the feasibility plan. And if I remember correctly at that meeting she was told to go to the SBDC Director to complete that plan. And I don’t believe that ever happened. She had some health problems so that didn’t happen. But we still got a vote to tear it down out there.
Now the next thing, in reading the Urban Renewal minutes that I’m kind of confused about – in my recollection when the Council voted to return the grant application, we did so because the grant application had been extended way out and time was running out.
And so we turned it back. So I don’t think that some of the things that are in the Urban Renewal Minutes present that quite clearly. I wanted to make that clear at that time,because I think that if you guys were to continue on, in my mind, on the path that you voted to go, that going back and searching for more funds – I don’t know why that would be a problem.
My biggest question is – to me it is just a real dilemma – as I read through this and you are now struggling over to rescind the vote – who votes on it? Boards turn over all the time. I doubt that you are going to find an attorney who says you’ve got to get the people who voted last time to vote again. How many times do you vote? Or do you have to vote that this is the last vote? This is really perplexing to me. I though democracies worked that you voted and the majority rules. I don’t see how this keeps going on. And it’s very confusing to the community. People I talk to want to know how does this happen.
And I guess, lastly, and I’m not trying to pick a fight, I am just trying to get some clarification. But I just can’t believe that, after having toured that building, (and I’ve also been through T O’s and the Mason building) and Urban Renewal owns the worst one. I think we have a liability there and I guess my biggest question is how come when you guys take a vote, and you take a vote three times, how do you get to keep voting? Just because you change board members, how do you get to keep voting?”
Sandra Leonard answered that it didn’t take three votes to take the building down – it took two votes to take the building down. The third vote was on funding for the building and that’s where they are in an impasse. The board can’t agree on using Urban Renewal money to take the building down now. But there is still a majority vote to take the building down.
McKenzie asked Ms. Leonard about a statement she made in the Urban Renewal Minutes “we need to talk to an attorney if we want to change the focus of how the vote went.” McKenzie asked how do you change the focus of a vote. Leonard said the word “change” was a poor choice of words.
She said she did talk to an attorney about making sure that whatever direction they go, the board was proceeding legally and with Roberts Rules of Order.
Mayor Horner said that part of the reason the grant was turned back in was we were getting questioning from the State, especially the State Historical Preservation Office, wanting to know where our plan is. They accused us of only demolishing buildings and said they want to see a plan before they would okay a grant. He went on to say he didn’t think they would give us a grant anyway since we don’t have a plan.
McKenzie said he thought it was a demolition grant. The Mayor said no, it was a grant from DOLA that could have been used either way.
Mestas said we should stop talking about the Plaza Building until we finally have the money to tear it down. The subject gets brought up over and over – it needs to be taken off the table until Urban Renewal can decide something definite.
For those who have not been keeping up with this on-going theater, here is the background:
Kit Carson Redux?
Urban Renewal v. Tri-County Motors
Tabares Building Part 1
Tabares Building Part 2
Tabares Building Part 3
Tabares Building Part 4