DeLand, FLA 32720.
I have seen your letter in the Beacon, and was interested in some of the questions you raise.
You are correct in believing that the building was purchased at a bargain price by two attorneys. One of them was (and is) the City Attorney. The other was and is the law partner of the City Attorney.
In addition to obtaining a good price on the building, Mr. Zimmerman also arranged a guarantee from the City of DeLand that they would arrange for a minimum of $250,000 in grants to be given to him and his fellow investor. If the City cant provide the $250,000 in grants, the City will buy the property, giving Zimmerman a profit.
Naturally, all this was not accomplished without extensive negotiations. Zimmerman represented himself and his partner. The City was represented by its attorney. Since the actual negotiation was carried out in secret, I enclose a reconstruction prepared by a trained writer.
The City has started to provide the grants. Money originally intended to provide refrigerators and stoves for the poor was instead re-directed to an attorney that we presume was more needy.
I was not in DeLand when the Athens was constructed. I am a relatively new arrival, born in Pensacola and only here since February of 1984. I can therefore only speak of parking since that time. When I arrived, the area now occupied by the Pink Pill-box (aka Taxpayers Hotel, where your money sleeps soundly) was available for parking.
At this time, I see no prospects for easy parking at the Athens. If you hold a particular title to some of that little lot beside the place, you may be able to reserve some time to use your spaces. There is little chance of the City requiring the current owners of the theater to provide parking, because the City Attorney will surely find legal impediments to such a requirement.
It may be imprudent to approach the City Commission on any matter relating to the Athens Theater. The new Mayor is very sensitive on the subject of the theater. The newest commissioner was given a no-bid contract to repair the roof (cost to be covered by City in case of buy-back), along with free use of City fire equipment to ease his inspection job. The City Attorney also prefers that the matter not be raised before the commission.
If you are unable to resolve the parking problem in any other way, I might mention that I normally ride a bicycle or walk to work when the weather is suitable.
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