Theater opponent takes city to court
By Christopher Caskey / The Citizen
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 12:08 AM EST
AUBURN – A Cayuga County judge gave the city of Auburn 30 days to turn over to a local resident requested records pertaining to a proposed performing arts center and theater festival.
But city officials stated they intend to disclose the documents before that deadline.
Judge Thomas Leone set the timeline during a court hearing Tuesday. The hearing was scheduled to determine whether the city was taking too long to respond to Freedom of Information requests by Peter Ruzicka related to the Kalet building on State Street.
Ruzicka has been publically critical of a recent proposal to tear down the Kalet building and erect a 300-plus-seat theater in its place. The current plan calls for $2.4 million from the SUNY budget for the facility, which would be built as a satellite theater for Cayuga Community College.
However, the theater would also be utilized during the summer months as the central venue for an annual musical theater festival. The festival organizers would match SUNY with private funds.
Ruzicka has said public efforts should instead be on the historic Schine Theater on South Street, and he reiterated that point on Tuesday. The documents he seeks, Ruzicka said, are related to his effort to find support for the Schine.
“I’m doing this as research into how it’s going to impact efforts going forward with the Schine,” Ruzicka said.