Our purchase proposal was approved at last week’s Community Development Committee meeting, which is good news, of course. I attended the meeting myself to make sure we did not get tabled or pushed back again, something I wonder if one of us should have done at that Common Council meeting when we were sent to this committee. At the time there did not seem to be a reason to take a day off from work to attend, as it seemed like a perfunctory stamp of approval was all we needed. We had already been through so many checks and sign-offs at that point, we figured the Council would motion a quick yes and be done with it. My best guess as to why we were not approved is because none of the Council members were personally familiar with our proposal, especially the councilmember for the house’s district. We had made several attempts throughout this process to make our faces known to the higher powers, but it seems the front door is no door at all.
As I saw at the Community Development Committee meeting, it is standard practice for the Council to put off as many as half of the items on their agenda, and they do so very quickly. The meeting itself was not long at all. But by being there and making sure to talk to the committee president and the Councilman of the district our house is in, a face was attached to a name and the vote was quick and easy. A few handshakes, a few brief conversations, a quick vote and thumbs up.
I stayed for the rest of the meeting just to observe. The meeting was sparsely attended; the folks in the audience are usually there about an item on the agenda for that meeting. Five or six parishioners from St. Ann’s (beautiful RC church on the East Side that has had major structural problems as well as differences with the diocese), an couple of architects presenting a final plan for a sports complex, and a handful more. There were many items on the agenda relating to the Peace Bridge and surrounding neighborhood, particularly Busti Ave and the proposed demolitions there and ongoing concerns about air quality and health in that area. All of those were tabled.
Anyhow, the pickle we are in is that the Common Council goes on vacation (“recess”) during August. All of August. And even though we were approved at the Committee (composed of Council members) that the Council sent us to, we still need a procedural approval at a full Council meeting to get a closing date from the Real Estate department. So we are stuck waiting until September to even start on closing, which will take at least a few weeks itself. When we began this process back in February, we thought we were being smart and giving ourselves the entire summer to prepare for the winter. Turns out we would only have the fall.