UU St. Pete InfoNet: IMPORTANT Vote Results and Next Steps

IMPORTANT UUSP Congregational Vote - Results and Next Steps:

UUSP held a Special Meeting on Sept. 17, 2017, to vote on the parking lot question: 

“Does the Congregation approve the Board of Directors accepting WJA's Letter of Intent, and proceed with formal negotiations to enter into a contract, consistent with the Letter of Intent, for the Church to sell Lot 1 to WJA for development, and have WJA create an appropriate paved parking lot on Lots 2 and 3?”

The 65 people who voted in person were more than double the quorum required by our bylaws.  It resulted in 58 for, 6 against, 1 abstention – about 90% in support of the sale.  This result tracks closely with the straw poll results in the weeks before, from members inside and outside the Tampa Bay area: 55 for, 6 against, 2 undecided – about 87%.  The Board’s straw poll in August was 4 for, 1 against, 2 abstentions. This consensus puts the Board in a very strong position as we negotiate a contract.

During the past year the Board tried to use an open and inclusive process with the congregation, and to publish whatever was discovered in our search for relevant information, whether by board members or others. Most members feel that they were included and their concerns heard.

Next steps: The Board and UUSP lawyer Chuck Hinton will be working out the exact terms of the contract with WJA in the coming month and will keep the congregation informed as completely as possible. In contract negotiations we will include the concerns expressed by those opposed to the sale. WJA has previously been very responsive.

I want to acknowledge that grappling with this lengthy, complicated issue has often been confusing, difficult and emotional for all of us.  We’ve argued and debated for over a year. However, this congregation has been impressive in respecting others’ opinions in Town Halls and Google group posts and roundtable discussions.  I’m proud of all of us for adhering to our UU principles of respect for the individual and using the democratic process.   

Thank you UUSP! This bodes well for continuing to grow in our covenant with each other.

Board of Trustees

Contact: Paul Burnore