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Mayor Declines Veto of Tower Theatre Purchase



Mayor Jerry Dyer will not veto any part of the Tower Theatre sale. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)
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Saying that he does not have veto power over the Fresno City Council’s decision to purchase the Tower Theatre, Mayor Jerry Dyer will let the transaction proceed.

“As advised by the City Attorney, the Fresno City Charter does not allow for veto of legal direction, such as indemnification agreements, nor contracts which funding has already been appropriated,” Dyer said in a non-veto message sent to the city clerk on Monday.

The city council voted 4-3 on April 21 to purchase the theater and its surrounding properties for $6.5 million, sell a building to tenant Sequoia Brewing Company — which has an ongoing lawsuit against the theatre’s owners — and absorb all the current and future legal challenges.

The city deal in effect settles Sequoia Brewing’s lawsuit. They will pay $1.2 million for the building, financed by a 30-year, 3% interest loan from the city.

Dyer had until Monday to exercise a veto.

Court Challenges Could Come

The purchase could still be challenged in court. Adventure Church argues it has a valid contract to purchase the landmark. It says it will add the city in its ongoing lawsuit against the theatre’s owners.

The church will also seek an injunction to prevent the sale. As of Monday afternoon, an amended lawsuit has not been filed, according to the court website.

“Adventure Church is disappointed, but not surprised, by the City of Fresno’s ongoing interference with a private agreement and its reckless spending of millions of taxpayer dollars. Adventure Church will file an injunction to stop the City of Fresno’s unlawful interference,” church attorney David Emerzian said in an email statement.

Dyer says litigation is inevitable.

“Ultimately, it appears we are headed down that path and that a judge will decide whether the City’s actions are legal. I will respect whatever action the Court eventually takes,” Dyer wrote.

The only portion of the April 21 vote that Dyer could have vetoed was a resolution on a policy on how to use the theatre. In his message, Dyer said that the city manager is the best authority to set the policy — which the resolution already states.

“Some have suggested that I ‘symbolically’ veto the Resolution as a way to send a message that I do not support the Council’s action. The fact of the matter is that the Council has approved the purchase and we will still own the properties regardless,” Dyer said.

The resolution set a 45-day escrow.

Read Mayor Jerry Dyer’s Message on Not Vetoing Tower Deal

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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