– 07/22/2014 Borough Council voted 6:1 to move ahead with the first Closing

 Success!!! Borough Council voted 6-1 to move ahead with the first Closing

I am delighted to inform you that Council voted 6-1 this evening in favor of going ahead with the first Closing on the Barclay Grounds (by which they will secure the two lots on N. High St.).

I hope you feel a sense of pride in what we have achieved together.

It was a good meeting and I thank those of you who were able to attend in person very much. I know I have asked you to come to a lot of meetings now – but they were all important junctures along the way – and your presence in Council Chambers made the difference on each occasion. 

I would also like to thank those of you who were not able to attend in person but nevertheless took the time to call or write to your Council representative. Please know that this made a big difference. As Ellen Koopland (Seventh Ward) said … “It makes my job so much easier when I hear from my residents about how they feel on an issue”. Don Braceland (Fifth Ward) mentioned to me outside the meeting that about 95% of his mail was in favor of saving the Barclay, which helped him decide to vote “Yes”. Brian Abbott (Third Ward) also said yesterday that he was receiving a significant proportion of his e-mail in favor of saving the property. 

If you were not able to come this evening I am sorry because I know you would have enjoyed it. When it could have become an adversarial meeting Bill Lynch set the tone, as he often does, by putting things into the big picture perspective of the community as a whole and that this is not a win/lose situation – especially if we all put the same level of energy and creativity into solving the Borough’s other needs once we have preserved the Barclay Grounds. 

This then led to some very good “speeches” by members of Council (actually several were so good that I was disappointed when I realized the meeting was not being recorded). The meeting ended on a conciliatory note with many of the naysayers saying they felt less anxious by the end of the meeting about the finances involved . 

Now I am looking forward to being able to turn our energies away from the politics and more towards the work of actually raising the money.

Thank you for your role in getting us to where we are today. It is gratifying to know that we have all carried the ball at some point. I am excited that we now have a clear end-goal to focus on (i.e. getting together sufficient funding to allow the Borough to complete the second (final) closing) – and that, if we achieve this, we will have succeeded in saving this beautiful and historic property.

In closing, I would also like to thank President Norley and the Members of Borough Council for their decision tonight to take a calculated risk in order to preserve something very special for the Borough. While there are so many individuals that I would also like to recognize (and plan to do so in a future e-mail) I would be remiss if I did not single out three individuals at this juncture for their commitment, support, counsel and leadership throughout the past 15 months. These are State Senator Andy Dinniman, Mayor Carolyn Committa and Ward One Council Representative Bill Scott.

With Best Wishes,

John Cottage