Ciao Magazine was recently copied in to this letter addressed to Mayor of Leichhardt, Darcy Byrne:
Dear Cr. Byrne.
I need to tell you how very sad it makes me to read of your actions in regard to the Italian Forum.
Although it doesn’t surprise me.
After having spoken with you many times, both formally and informally, I should have expected some “attitude” from you in resect to the Forum.
Like many politicians you seemed to be possessed by more personal agendas and lose sight for the people you represent.
Cr Byrne, It really, really disappoints me to have to write to you and say that I believe you do not have the great vision for this city that I expected.
Many of the interested owners, and business people remaining in this wonderful complex have once again been totally disillusioned by their political leaders and I for one cannot hide my anger at the actions you have put into course.
Co.As.It are an honorable organization and perform a highly important task for its community, but it takes a lot less than genius to work out that they are most unsuited to the ownership of a property that was meant for the community. They are not entertainment entrepreneurs!
The reason we bought our home in the Forum was because of its location, ambience, and its once vibrant atmosphere.
If we were to see you have your way it would be a glum shut down ordinary collection of what???
People would not see any purpose to visit, business would continue to decline to nothing; these operators lives would be ruined and the value of residents’ properties would continue to decline. This because of some individual’s desire for something to suit their personal agendas and extend political careers beyond the city.
As I understand it, you have overturned the legal tender decision process. Let the public know your reasons for this decision!
Explain to them, what the gain will be, talk to businesses in Norton street and offer them an assurance that your action, if it is accepted, is going to generate new life into the area.
Assure us all that Co.As.It‘s ownership would mean an entertainment centre with high activity, and that restaurants and new ownerships of defunct retail outlets would provide stimulus for visitors from all over to visit this iconic area
At the moment the current Lessees have planned for the future, they have a programme of events coming that were always my dream for our HOME.
Now you have threatened that.
You, who 12 months ago were busy telling us that you wanted more entertainment and music venues in Leichhardt have chosen a path that would deny our city the opportunity to continue to have one of the finest Arts Centres in Sydney closed down…and for what reason? Tell us, we need to know – not just me, but all the ratepayers whose money is no doubt going into the legal fees, want to have an honest answer.
I regret the need for having to write this type of letter, but you have disappointed me and many of your constituents, and we have to be able to vent our anger and tell our appointed representatives of our frustration. You are a community leader, you are also a servant of the community, and much more is expected of you and the Council.
Forum Resident, rate payer and lover of our home and city