Tuesday, November 15, 2016

City of Orlando officials delay vote on Pulse nightclub purchase

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 5:11 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY REPER
  • Photo by Jeremy Reper
Mayor Buddy Dyer postponed a vote on Monday from Orlando commissioners on whether the city should buy the gay nightclub Pulse for $2.25 million.

In a statement, the city says the delay will help staff develop a memorial process for the site of the June 12 massacre where 49 people where killed and countless others were injured:
"Pulse is now a permanent part of Orlando’s history," the statement from the city says. "This site has great significance not just to the LGBTQ and Hispanic communities, but for all of us who live in and love Orlando. This is why we have committed to establish a community-based committee to oversee the memorial process."

"Prior to establishing the committee, it is important to understand the process other cities have undertaken to create a memorial. Staff is researching memorials across the country. Taking this information, staff is developing a proposed memorial process. Over the next few weeks, staff will engage each Commissioner to get input and feedback."

"Due to the significance of this site, City Council decided it was appropriate to finalize the memorial process prior to purchasing Pulse. By deferring these agenda items, Council can bring forward the purchase of the Pulse property and memorial process at the same time." 
WFTV 9 reports Commissioner Tony Ortiz says he was going to vote against the proposal because the city would be paying more than the property's appraised value of $1.7 million before the mass shooting.

"I don’t see no honor in capitalizing on a tragedy like this," Ortiz tells the TV station. "What kind of good are we doing to our LGBT community?"

Commissioner Sheehan tells WFTV she doesn't think the hesitation comes from the price, adding, "I think that it’s just discrimination. I think that people don’t want to build a memorial."

The City Council will meet again on Dec. 5.

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