After more than a year of controversy, legal battles, and a theatrical Fresno City Council meeting, the City Council voted Thursday to buy the historic Tower Theatre for $6.5 million. The City Council voted 4-3 to approve a complicated purchase agreement for the property that includes the theater, Sequoia Brewery, and Me-n-Ed’s. Councilmembers Garry Bredefeld, Luis Chavez, and Mike Karbassi voted against the purchase agreement. Councilmembers Miguel Arias, Nelson Esparza, Tyler Maxwell, and Esmeralda Soria voted in favor.
HOURS OF PUBLIC COMMENT Dozens of people packed the City Council chambers and even more called in to the meeting via Zoom to make their voices heard. The Adventure Church congregation members urged the City Council to reject the proposed deal and defended their church. They said taxpayer money should not be used to purchase the property or defend Abbate or the city in a legal battle.
Rev. Tim Kutzmark from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno said the Tower community has made clear that it doesn’t feel loved by Adventure Church. “The Jesus that I was taught about when I was a little boy was a Jesus who taught love,” he said. “What we have heard from the Tower community is they do not feel love. They do not feel love, they feel under assault.”
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