Wednesday, November 21, 2007

what i'm thankful for (and update on the ongoing music hall controversy!)

As we approach Thanksgiving - a time of food, football, and family drama - it's easy to forget the reason why this holiday was invented by the department stores in order to draw the Christmas season as far into the year as possible. Thus, I give you a list of things I'm thankful for, in the hopes of raising your holiday awareness:

- That when you're crossing Georgia Avenue, it's always okay to leave your mother on the other side. ["Residents lobby for parkland on Georgia Avenue", The Gazette]

- That neighbors in East Silver Spring can agree on something, even if it's how much they can be bought for. ["Fenton Village neighbors join up to offer properties", The Gazette]

- That in College Park, our school's president cares more about his own "legacy" than if students can actually get to campus. ["Seeing Purple," The Diamondback]

- And, finally, that Silver Spring residents have begun to question why Ike Leggett's been so stubborn about entertaining Seth Hurwitz' counter-proposal for the music hall on Colesville Road.

The Silver Spring Scene has a copy of Leggett's response to a letter sent by the Silver Spring Citizens Advisory Board last week begging him to open up talks between the County and current beau Live Nation to other promoters, like Hurwitz, owner of the 9:30 Club.

From the letter:

"For obvious reasons, it would be inappropriate for the County to enter into an agreement with one operator only to subsequently decide to engage in simultaneous negotiations with a second proposed operator that has the benefit of seeing and undercutting the signed terms of its competitor’s agreement . . . Had the County originally signed a Letter of Intent with the 9:30 Club, or any other operator, and a third party inserted itself into the negotiations at the last minute by cherry-picking an existing proposal, my attitude would be the same."

"That they're calling our attempt 'cherry-picking' is inaccurate, especially since our first attempt to speak with the County was before any announcement," says Audrey Schaefer, communications director for Hurwitz' It's My Party Productions, in a phone interview with JUTP. "We're not saying 'stop talking to them.' We could never do that. We're saying 'open the process up.'"

Schaefer contends that I.M.P. first approached the County two days before plans were announced to open a Fillmore music club at the site September 26th. "He's saying it's too late, but indeed legally, it's not," she adds, noting that Leggett fails to mention that his agreement with Live Nation was, in fact, non-binding.

Is the community overreacting - or could there be something going on behind the scenes that he's not letting us in on? Leggett says he has the patience of Job, but why is he being so stubborn?


Anonymous said...

Great post, as usual Dan. Mr. Leggett should be reminded that "cherry-picking" is generally done by migrant workers, while those questioning him are resident voters. I have read Ike Leggett's bio. and he is a good, moral man, and frankly, he has given more to the community than I ever will, but I find he spends more time defending his decisions than making them. Politics are the ugly side of Democracy, and good men get eaten alive.

Anonymous said...

Dan, you have a great eye for the absurd! Enquiring readers want to know: what happened to Gene Lynch's mother? Is she still standing on the west side of Georgia Avenue, all alone?

Anonymous said...

For the record, 9:30's letter to the County was dated and received September 24 -- six days AFTER the Letter of Intent was signed.

Anonymous said...

I.M.P.'s letter was sent days before there was an announcement of a non-binding letter of intent. There was no way to know the County had signed the letter 6 days prior, since it was done in private. If there were a transparent process, everyone would have known the time frame for submitting a proposal. There was none.