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Issues of Concern Regarding Negotiations with Rock Church for Use of ECPAC and surrounding City Property

Citizens Oversight (2014-09-04) Ray Lutz

This Page: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1487
Media Link: http://www.copswiki.org/w119/pub/Common/MediaTopicHeader/LetterTheCityOfElCajonOnRockChurchDeal_v7.pdf
More Info: Church State Separation, El Cajon City Council, Rock Church Ecpac Takeover, Save ECPAC

This letter was submitted to the City of El Cajon to influence their negotiations with the Rock Church.

Summary

  • Issue 1: Theater manager should be hired first, following the plan already articulated by the City Manager.
    • Should be up to the theater manager to decide how to allocate the time.
    • It's hard to hire a top-notch professional theater manager if they are hamstrung by a grid of uses by a major tenant like the bars on a jailcell.
  • Issue 2: Long-term lease exclusively to one religious organization is unconstitutional and unlawful
    • The proposed long-term and exclusive lease of the theater for religious worship services, including the lease of city property adjacent to it, in the same superblock and within steps of the City Hall, the Council Chambers, and the County Courthouse, is a violation of the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution. The use of the theater by a specific religion implies approval of that religion by the City, with the city undoubtedly called on to help promote events at the theater. Such a partnership between the City and a Church, not allowing any other religions to use the facility during Sundays and religious holidays, is not even-handed and implies a preference for this religion as opposed to other religions, and indeed also for a non-religious viewpoint.
  • Issue 3: Regular Church Use Incompatible with Other Uses
    • Long hours and monthly use of Fri, Sat and all Tuesdays makes it hard for a theater manager to use the theater for major engagements.
  • Issue 4: Under Market Rates Proposed
    • Most churches have to buy/lease the building for all hours, whether they use it or not. Rock Church only has to rent it for the days they use it.
    • Effective rental rate for "day" slot is about $900. Market rate for the theater was $2500 for a nonprofit for 8 hour slot.
    • City is saving the church at least 250K to 500K per year.
    • Rates given to the church would have to be the highest, of "preference" can be claimed.
  • Issue 5: Annex unconstitutional; Will trigger CEQA
    • Allowing the church to build an annex to ECPAC for their offices which they will have control of for 35 years is certainly unconstitutional as it is "respecting the establishment of religion"
    • The building will trigger CEQA and it will be all but impossible to mitigate the impacts.
  • Issue 6: Process was Defective
    • No public meetings, workshops, or community engagement
    • City Requested a Proposal by Rock Church
    • Inappropriate secret negotiations
    • Request for Interested Tenants, to make it look good.
    • Willifords Aug 12 Evaluation of Proposals Misleading and Deceptive

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Title Issues of Concern Regarding Negotiations with Rock Church for Use of ECPAC and surrounding City Property
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Ray Lutz
Pub Date 2014-09-04
Media Link http://www.copswiki.org/w119/pub/Common/M1487/LetterTheCityOfElCajonOnRockChurchDeal_v7.pdf
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Keywords Church State Separation, El Cajon City Council, Rock Church Ecpac Takeover, Save ECPAC
Media Type Article, PDF
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Curator Rating Plain
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LetterTheCityOfElCajonOnRockChurchDeal_v7.pdfpdf LetterTheCityOfElCajonOnRockChurchDeal_v7.pdf manage 726.6 K 2014-09-07 - 19:37 Raymond Lutz Issues of Concern Regarding Negotiations with Rock Church for Use of ECPAC and surrounding City Property (Ver. 7b)
Topic revision: r6 - 2016-05-16, UnknownUser
 

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