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Peoples Ballroom Money

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The Republican majority now controlling the Ann Arbor City Council voted on Monday, Dec. 3rd, to illegally cancel a $17,700 revenue sharing contract with non-profit Tribal Funding, Inc. The vote carne just as Tribal Fundiiig was about to put a $10,000 downpayment on a building for a People's Ballroom and Community Center in the heart of Ann Arbor's downtown business district. The money was to come from the federal revenue sharing funds provided for the building in the contract. Tribal Funding (the legal entity for Tribal Council) has termed the cancellation "unarmed robbery by gangsters and thugs" and announced it's intention to bring a civil suit against the Republicans on Council. The Democrats on City Council have declared the RepublicáVs move "ridiculous" and "completely without legal basis." The HRP has warned that this may only be the first of the "social service" federal reverme sharing contracts to be ripped off. The Republicans have been looking for a way to cancel the revenue sharing contracts passed by the former HRP and Democrat coalition on Council last spring. They have been particularly rabid about the $17,700 allocation to Tribal Funding for the Ballroom and Community Center. Tribal Funding is associated with the Rainbow People's Party, the Republican's longstandingandpublicly proclaimed political enemy. Third ward Republican Councilman William Colburn, speaking before the vote was taken from a prepared text written by Mayor Stephenson (who was in Puerto Rico) explained that the contract was being cancelled due to "nonperformance." He charged that Tribal Funding's contract called for 24 dances, and only one had been held. "It's clear and simple that the group didn't want to put on the concerts. They wanted the money for other purposes." explained Colburn. Since the purchase of the building would make these and many more dances possible, it's obvious that "non-performance" isn't what the Republicans are worried about. Colburn knew as he lied that $1,000 had been deposited as a hold on the building at 514 E. Washington St., and that a request had been filed with the city for the other $9,000 in downpayment needed. What they're really worried about is the performance. As Tribal Funding got closer to purchasing the People's Ballroom, the Republicans became more desperate to keep that from happening. The thought of an ongoing program of dances and other activities for young people right in prime Republican downtown real estáte was too incredible to them. Legally "non-performance" is nonsense because the contract gives Tribal Funding until June 30th, 1974 to perform the required 24 dances. Tribal Council lias been searching for a building ever since last December 14th when the Community Center on Washington St. burned down. They've investigated 12 sites so far and have found them either inadequate or the pwners unwilling to rent out for dances or office space. The University of Michigan, owner of all the other suitable sites for dances, will not rent to Tribal Council, and once had to be sued for preventing rock and roll dances on University property. Consequently there has been only one dance so far for the People's Ballroom. Tribal Funding is calling the cancellation of the contract illegal, and is proceeding as if it was still in effect. The contract requires the city to submit any complaints it has about contract perfromance to Tribal Funding in writing. No such notification has ever been received by Tribal Funding. The suit being brought will charge that it is the CITY who has committed the non-performance by holding up Tribal Funding's legal September $400 payment for three months while conducting an investigatior into its activities. The investigation turned up no legal grounds for cancellation of the contract, so the Republicans made the $400 quarterly payment for general operations and office space on November 28. According to the contract, the payment of that money constitutes recognit ion on the part of the city that "performance" was entirely satisfactory. Since the contract also specifies that the entire $17,700 must be paid to Tribal Funding if the CITY fails to fulfill it's part of the contract, Tribal Funding isasking for delivery of the money immediately. Since the other part of the Republican's plan was to pressure the owner and realtor of the pptential Ballroom through the