Mt. Washington supports neighbors in fight against proposed strip club
Mount Washington resident Ginny Gates had a big grin on her face by the end of the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation board of directors meeting held on March 4.
Mrs. Gates, a MWCDC member, had protested at a previous meeting on February 18 because the board refused last year to take a stand against a proposed strip club planning to open on West Carson Street near the Duquesne Incline. A majority of the members attending on February 18 voted to have the board reconsider the matter and the directors agreed to do so at their board meeting on March 4.
As Mrs. Gates and others watched, the board voted in favor of "supporting the West End communities in their stand against locating a strip club on West Carson." This was a change from the original motion made earlier during the night asking the board to condemn plans for the club.
Mrs. Gates, of Mount Washington, and the West Enders are concerned because the club would be positioned near the Onala Club, whose clientele are recovering addicts and a strip club might tempt them to sample alcohol again.
The MWCDC vote was: nine in favor, two opposed and one abstention. Board president J.T. Smith did not vote.
"I'm so happy. Thank each and every one of you," Mrs. Gates said.
During discussion of the original motion, board vice president Pete Karlovich said the club "would be outside of our service area, so we can't take an official position." Others insisted the club was located very close to Duquesne Heights.
Secretary Linda Rosenthal mentioned the new MWCDC mission statement included the goal of cultivating community development.
"If you have the club, it is not indicative of community development," she said.
Another objection raised by Mr. Karlovich was the lack of a quorum when members voted on February 18 to have the board discuss the matter again. He cited Roberts Rules of Order as defining a quorum as the majority of the entire membership – not the majority of members attending the meeting.
"Then, technically, we never have a quorum at any membership meeting," Mr. Smith said.
West Ender Matt Hogue, a constituent services coordinator for Councilman Bruce Kraus, attended the meeting as an observer.
In other business, board member Phil Delmer reported on the progress of an ad hoc committee formed by the MWCDC to represent the organization in any communications with Carnegie Library. The committee is exploring is the feasibility of keeping the library at its current location.
Mr. Delmer, who chairs the committee, said the library needs to have air conditioning, handicapped access and more terminals for computers.
"The library is one of the smallest branches and one of the most used libraries in the system," he said.
"Our strategy is to work in a positive way. We want to enter into discussions. My feeling is that the squeaky wheel gets the job done," Mr. Delmer said.
There are 18 committee members including architects and engineers.
Executive Director Chris Beichner characterized a meeting set up by city council member Theresa Kail-Smith with developer Guy Cozza as "positive." The topic of discussion was improving the appearance of two vacant properties along Grandview Avenue which Mr. Cozza owns.
The directors agreed to ask Mr. Cozza to attend a future board meeting for more discussion.
Mr. Beichner reported recent crime statistics showing fewer incidents in February than in January. However, a number of incidents occurred along Boggs Avenue.
Board member Tom Brady asked for a motion requesting if extra salt may be stored during winter months at the MWCDC office. Other directors protested that the motion seemed unnecessary, Mr. Brady said, "For the past 10 years I have been saying this and have not been getting the salt."
The board approved his motion.