City reverses decisions on property, play

September 23, 2003|LIZ MAPLES

Danville City Commission reversed two of its decisions Monday from the Sept. 8 meeting. Commissioner Ryan Owens changed his vote to one in favor of interviewing consultants who would conduct a $50,000 study on how the city can best use the property it owns, including the Save-A-Lot store next to city hall.

The study was approved earlier this year and is included in the budget.

Previously, Owens had said that the decision should be put off until Mayor John W.D. Bowling returns from an extended vacation, sometime in early October.

Commissioner Chester Kavanaugh voted against the motion because he said he hadn't finished reviewing the consultants' applications.

"The Mayor said he wanted to be involved, and I'm going to try to be diplomatic here," Commissioner Terry Crowley said. "But this desire to be involved has turned into a seven-week delay."

Owens, Crowley and Commissioner Jamey Gay voted to schedule interviews for three of the five applicants, CMW, Inc., Bravura and Brandstetter Carroll, Inc.


Owens said the city needs to decide what it will do with the Save-A-Lot property, so he changed his vote.

He also changed his vote to side with Gay and Crowley in favor of a $5,000 donation to help bring the centennial performance of "Porgy and Bess" to the Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College on Oct. 9.

Kavanaugh again voted against the donation. He said that the Citizens Concerned for Human Relations should have asked for the money at the beginning of the year along with other community agencies.

CCHR's spokesman James Atkins said that the group did not know at the time that it would bring the opera here.

Boyle County Fiscal Court voted unanimously to donate $5,000 to the performance.

Owens said that after he did some research he decided that the performance would be a good chance to teach diversity to the students.

Danville native Todd Duncan was the original Porgy in the opera. He successfully desegregated the arts in New York City, Washington D.C. and at Centre College, Atkins said.

Kavanaugh, the only black elected official in Boyle County, voted against giving money to the performance because he said it would set a precedent. "I'm ready for 'Porgy and Bess.' I'm going to attend 'Porgy and Bess.' But there are other theaters in this town, Pioneer Playhouse and West T. Hill, and if we're going to give money like that, then those (theaters) will ask for money."

He reiterated that the CCHR should have asked for the money at the beginning of the fiscal year.

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