Dispute over Office Building Use Appears Headed for Resolution

St. Louis, Missouri (July 1, 1998)-A dispute between Mission to the World and Administrative Committee over the use of the denominational office building appears to be headed toward resolution. The controversy has arisen over MTW's reduction of office space at 1852 Century Place in Atlanta and subsequent reduction of rent payments.

Among the concerns raised by MTW were "the growing difficulty of Atlanta's traffic commute" and the "[r]eduction of overhead cost." MTW took umbrage that it had "not been given 'its day in court.' . . . MTW's ability to be stewards of its own human and financial resources is being prevented by forces to which we feel we have not been given proper access. MTW, under the current arrangement, does not have the independence needed or control over building systems necessary to control its own destiny and to successfully carry out the mandates placed upon it by the General Assembly. The agencies in the PCA Building have no participation in the ownership of the building. The agencies also are not treated as tenants because we have no written lease agreement (the rules about our rights or options are addressed only as a situation arises), and because apparently we cannot shrink or move, as a normal tenant would be allowed to do. The present system establishes rent without any input from the agencies, which must pay the rent."

The court adopted the following motion: "That the Capital Building Fund Committee and the Administrative Committee meet and develop an amicable solution to the request of MTW to vacate space in the PCA office building between now and the end of 1998 with all rents paid. Further, MTW will not decrease its space (as of June 30, 1998) any further until the aforementioned resolution to the problem is resolved." MTW Coordinator Paul Kooistra indicated that he was supportive of this motion and that the parties were committed to working things out.