The imminent eviction of Promise Neighborhood inspired protest from the community, and Promise Neighborbood got a reprieve: they could stay at 6 South Second Street, at the same rent, until December 31, 2015. On Monday, with the deadline only days away, Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward) presented to the Common Council at their informal meeting a letter from Joan E. Hunt, project director of Promise Neighborhood, requesting approval for the organization to relocate temporarily to the Hudson Youth Center at Third and Union streets. The Council seemed blindsided by the request.
Alderman Bart Delaney (Fifth Ward) asked if the request should not go through the Youth & Aging Committee. Garriga maintained that the plan had been proposed last summer, before Promise Neighborhood's deadline for vacating the space on South Second Street had been extended.
Alderman Rick Rector (First Ward) said this was the first he was hearing about the proposal and asked if the request shouldn't come from Tyrone Hedgepeth, recreation program supervisor at the Youth Center, or from the mayor. Garriga told Rector that he should have been at the last Youth & Aging Committee meeting, a somewhat bizarre rebuke because Rector is not a member of that committee and even more bizarre because the proposal was not discussed at the last Youth & Aging Committee meeting. Gossips was there, as was Supervisor Sarah Sterling (First Ward), who rose at Monday's meeting to attest that nothing had been said about the proposal at the committee meeting.
Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) suggested that Garriga, who is a member of the Promise Neighborhood board of directors, should not be the one presenting or promoting the proposal, calling it a conflict of interest for her as a board member and an alderman to be "asking for some benefit from the City."
Council president Don Moore suggested that the proposal was "not something the Council can act on right now." He went on to say that "the mayor's office should parse this [proposal]--how much space they need and the hours of use"--and provide a "definition of how this impacts the Youth Department."
It was agreed that Hunt and Hedgepeth appear at the Council meeting on December 15, "so the Council knows what is being requested."
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