This is a letter drafted by Tom Peters and forwarded to me by Richard Evans, former Sohummer now residing in Eureka these days.  Much of the history of the controversy has been posted and discussed at Heraldo’s, and people I trust say that the City of Eureka blew an excellent opportunity for the Northcoast Children’s Center’s purchase and conversion into a daycare center and multi-use project as an alternative to a CR project the neighborhood objected to. Since then an alternative plan is in the works involving the city’s purchase of the property.  The group backing the project say that some in the city government want to play games with the plan.  Richard asked me to post this letter.

Jefferson School Project needs your help!

It was a done deal. The Eureka Redevelopment Agency has the money. A plan is in place for finding funds to rehabilitate the building. Potential tenants are lined up. A 503c nonprofit is being created to manage the project and be a conduit for funding. Escrow was due to close this week. It is the very model about how a neighborhood can come together to make things happen.

Then newly elected Eureka Councilman Mike Newman, in an apparent Brown Act violation, told staff during Council Reports to postpone closing escrow until at least the next meeting so the council can “discuss it”.  Newman has expressed great doubts about the project and appears to be trying to revive College of the Redwoods earlier bid for the property.

We need your support to tell the Council in no uncertain terms that the agreed upon purchase by the redevelopment Agency, approved by a unanimous vote of the previous council, must be honored. It will take a ‘show of force before the council to be sure this will happen.

PLEASE Come to the Eureka City Council meeting Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 6pm . The meeting is on the 2nd floor at the  council chambers. You will NOT be required to speak unless you choose to, only to be there to show support.

The Jefferson Community Center Project is the definition of redevelopment. It will turn a potentially blighted site into a neighborhood park and a thriving center for businesses, nonprofits, and other potential tenants. And it is what the neighborhood wants. Don’t let Mike Newman or any other councilpersons circumvent the will of the very people they were elected to represent. Come to the meeting. Let them know where you stand. Wherever you live in Eureka, the Jefferson School Project sets a precedent for all of our neighborhoods. Please come and support this project.