At the February 6th City Council meeting MICA updated the community on how it planned to move forward on its mission to develop a performing arts center. Watchwords like inclusion, engagement and transparency were used frequently to hopefully pivot from its prior strategy of exclusion, public shaming and other distasteful tactics. An encouraging sign!!
MICA can back up its words by taking two simple steps which will demonstrate their sincerity and bring the whole community together to support it.
First, if MICA is truly genuine it should immediately withdraw from the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and accompanying $1/year Lease with the City, and drop the zoning text amendment application, thereby taking the Mercerdale Park site off the table. Anything short of that, one has to assume that MICA’s unspoken desire is to build there, despite what they may say.
Second, we believe they’ll achieve their goal much more readily by moving forward without the explicit support of resources or subsidies from the City. We are all aware of the ever-growing financial challenges the City is facing, as well as the rapidly rising tax burden on its citizens. Right-sizing this project and budget so that it can be managed as strictly a private endeavor will allow MICA to truly control its own destiny.
Thus, to achieve their goals, two relatively straightforward decisions by MICA – tear up the MOU, and don’t rely on or wait for the City for support – will encourage the community to get behind this effort, and allow them to move forward more quickly.
Meg Lippert & Peter Struck