FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – A court document filed by the Tower Theatre owners against Adventure Church is demanding a judge strike adventure church’s lawsuit against them, and that they pay all legal fees.
The purchase of the Tower Theatre by the City of Fresno passed another hurdle Thursday.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer said in a statement, that he will not veto the city’s purchase.
The Tower Theatre purchase by Fresno was never up for veto by the mayor.
Mayor Dyer said in his statement that he received many comments from people wanting him to step in, but even if he did, the sale of the theatre would still move forward.
In a statement released Thursday, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer details why the purchase of the Tower Theatre was never up for his veto in the first place.
The purchase by the city is a contract, therefore, the funds have already been allocated and the Mayor cannot overturn the decision.
“There is no way that the mayor has the power to step in here and off the sale, this is a matter that is completely up to the city council,” said Jaguar Bennett, a leader of Save the Tower group.
The only thing the mayor could veto is a resolution that sets the policies that concern the use of property, but the veto would be more of a symbolic one since it would not change anything in the sale.
Bennett says the mayor not making the symbolic veto, speaks volumes.
“Personally, this has been a great relief for me. I live in the tower district. It is my community. It is where I do a lot of my performance and artistic work,” said Bennett.
Right now, the theatre’s ownership is still in limbo.
Adventure Church is suing for the right to purchase the theatre after their initial buy was stopped.
We reached out to the church for this story, but they did not return our phone calls or voicemails.
Bennett says if the theatre is sold to the church, it would have economic ripple effects felt citywide.
“There was really nothing else the city could do, they simply had to protect the tower theatre because it is so essential to the community and the tower district,” he said.
Four Fresno City Councilmembers, Esmeralda Soria, Nelson Esparza, Tyler Maxwell, and Miguel Arias voted to approve the city buying the theatre, blocking Adventure Church’s purchase.
“From day one, everyone was clear that these powers to preserve the tower theatre as a historical asset was always at the place of the city council,” said Arias in a zoom interview.
“The question remains how is the city going to manage it? I think it is very vital that the community continue to manage it,” concluded Bennett.
We also reached out to the law firm representing adventure church in this lawsuit, but they did not reach back to us either.