JWG (jwg) wrote,

Next chapter in the VFW dance hall saga

Continuing the story of saving the dance hall last described in a prior posting

Where we left off in December - a majority of the council seems to be in favor, but the City manager is against doing it and since he has lots of power (the money and the people) it is a challenge to get him to change his position.

Last night the Cambridge City Council held its first meeting of the new year and new council with its newly elected Mayor (Ken Reeves - a charming, out gay, black man who was Mayor a few years ago, is somewhat conservative in some ways but is a big proponent of the Arts).

There was a Council Order with two parts: One that told the City Manager he must keep the council informed before any major steps are taken. The second ordered the Mayor to hold a Round Table meeting (a special form of council meeting) which includes the council, people from city departments and representatives of the dance community. This order was placed by councillor Brian Murphy mostly because I'd and another dancer have been working with him on this topic and I had outlined the motivation and substance of the order. It was passed unanimously and the meeting is tentatively scheduled for Feb 13.

Progress continues but success isn't a sure thing. We have come a long way since last summer when it seemed certain that the dance space would not be there in the future and the dancers were perceived as trying to stop the youth center project.

I've learned that the architects have been asked to provide 4 alternative plans, two of which involve including the dance space. I suspect its 4 instead of 2 because of the choice of renovation vs. tear down/new build (which is probably the best alternative for everyone).

I hope to be one of the invited participants. I am still awaiting a meeting with Ken Reeves to discuss this topic at greater length than the several one minute conversations I've had with him. Actually I found in my past work and political experience that these one minute conversations are often more effective than long meetings in getting someone's attention and response to a call for action.

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