“Once this ordinance is approved, the battle is not over, because while we can come up here and pass an ordinance for accommodation, we can’t pass an ordinance for acceptance. Culture change is slow, but it changes with good education and dialogue. So I would just ask all those of you who have participated so well and so far to think about how we go about bringing everybody along in a way that needs to be happening and in a way that is comfortable for everybody.” – Mike Dodson, Manhattan City Commissioner
The first reading of anti-discrimination ordinance was approved with a 5 to 0 vote at the Manhattan City Commission meeting. The proposed amendment protects sexual orientation and gender identity. This has been a year of collaborating and compromising with all invested parties and individuals.
Debate on specific language, court fees, and exemptions lingered and will be discussed over the coming weeks as the city staff prepare the ordinance for its second reading.
A $145,765 Parks and Recreation feasibility study was approved by all commissioners. Conducted by Bruce MacMillan AIA Architechs, the study will assess new courts around Manhattan and make improvements to the Douglas Community Center. The commissioners decided not to include plans for indoor aquatics.
The Manhattan Area Technical College (MATC) presented their second reading of an economic development agreement. MATC is asking for a $300,000 forgivable loan for psychical improvements to accommodate in-demand programs.
MATC is also seeking a restructuring of a previous loan that has a 145,000 balance. MATC argued the original project payments did not reflect the usual financial gains made by educational institutions. The commissioners approved the second reading.