Observations. Shore Cultural Centre once again saved by the bell
Shore Cultural once again dodged the wrecking ball at the Sept. 7 Euclid City Council session. The mayor, in work sessions last week with the Coral Company management team, found some money in the 2010 capital budget excess and in the endowment fund. After subsequent conversations with several council members, they came into the meeting with a compromise proposal, a 15-month renewal with funding allowing Coral to hire a development director to raise funds and to put together a marketing plan. A new furnace and thermostat system and backup repair of the existing boiler were also included.
There were calls from the audience and from Councilwoman Mary Jo Minarik to go the distance and approve renewal of the complete five year program, reasoning that the contract includes a 30-day escape clause in the event of management performance failure. Council was not interested and approved only the compromise 15-month management renewal and the heating equipment installation.
It was a complete turnaround from the previous week’s Council Asset Committee meeting, featuring suggestions of putting the continuation of city support for Shore Cultural on the ballot, and the mayor throwing down the gauntlet saying he will have to list the sacrifices that will have to be made to pay for Shore. The committee suggested only a three-month renewal. Things looked grim.T
The mayor and council were bombarded with emails in support of Shore. Speaking at the public microphone, tenant authorities from the New Day Academy and Tri-C were eloquent in expressing their satisfaction with the Shore management efforts. It came out during the meeting that significant sums of income tax from Shore tenant employees go back to the city. Then there are the thousands of Shore visitors having a positive effect on nearby businesses. Del Tekieli of the Shore board sent out a public message of thanks to the mayor, the council and the Coral Company.
The ongoing saga of Shore continuation will be revisited by council at the end of 2011. That it has survived closing year after year is a testament to those residents who have struggled to keep their dream alive. The last two administrations and some council majorities have been less than enthusiastic about Shore continuance. Shore became a principal issue in several epic municipal elections. Recently, due to the suggestion by Councilman Daryl Langman, that the Coral Company professional management team be hired to manage Shore, the resistance has mellowed.
Shore is a people's project. It is easy to point out administration initiatives that sailed through council with ease and adequate funding. I speak of the new fire station, the St. Robert and the vacant lakeshore parcel purchases, beatification of the Lakeshore/ Babbitt/ East 222 corner, construction on the East 222 Street industrial corridor and the new traffic signal system. Not that these expenditures are bad, but Shore funding is miniscule by comparison. Another long time people’s project, kept alive for 16 years by resident support, is lakefront development. Once again Langman stepped up and suggested professional planners. The project is currently in the construction working drawing stage and the project has been added to the City Master Plan.