Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004 Page: 20 of 72
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Continued from Page 1
"Out of my office," Rasansky said. "There's
not going to be any lease. You're going to do it
my way. Out of my office."
The pastor can be heard asking for the
church's security deposit to be refunded and call-
ing Rasansky "shifty" and a "crook."
Rasansky instructed his secretary to call the
police several times after words were exchanged
in the meeting.
"This man acts like he is God, and everyone
just revolves around him," Morrow said later.
During an interview this week, Rasansky
denied that he had dealt with the church unfairly.
He accused Morrow of failing to live up to the
verbal agreement they had reached in February.
"He hasn't paid his rent, and that's etched in
stone," said Rasansky, who is widely regarded as
the council's most conservative member.
Rasansky said that he was aware Morrow was
tape recording their conversation because he put
the recorder on top of his desk and "kept clicking
it on and off." Some of the exchanges were not
recorded, he said.
On the day of the dispute, the pastor and two
church members went to Rasansky's office to
discuss parking problems that arose after the
church agreed to rent the space, Morrow said.
Morrow said he wrote two checks for $1,250
each for a security deposit and the first month's
rent to start on March 1 for the space at 4225
Ross Ave. The pastor said that he gave Rasansky
the checks several weeks ago with the under-
standing that he would receive a signed lease
within a few days.
The church planned to use the space for a
sanctuary and a thrift store to help with operating
expenses, Morrow said.
Rasansky gave them permission to enter the
building in February for renovations and clean-
ing, and the church has spent about $2,750 on
that, Morrow said. A Fort Worth church donated
several pews for the new sanctuary, he said.
"We did a beautiful job," Morrow said.
Rasansky denied the pastor's claims that the
building was in "horrible condition" when he
gave them the keys.
"It was broom clean," Rasansky said.
The pastor said that Rasansky never produced
the lease, and that another tenant told him that the
parking lot church members planned to use was
actually leased to him, and that they could not
park there without paying him a fee.
Morrow said that he stopped payment on the
check for March's rent because of the parking
issue and because Rasansky never gave him a
Rasansky said that his office had held the rent
check at Morrow's request until March 1 because
the pastor told him the church had insufficient
funds until that date. The pastor called the real
estate office to inform them that he had stopped
payment on the check about the time it was sup-
posed to be deposited, Rasansky said.
Morrow said he asked for the check to be held
until March 1 because he thought it was inappro-
priate to pay the rent without a signed lease.
A copy of a church bank statement provided
by Morrow showed Rasansky cashed the securi-
ty deposit check, but it indicated insufficient
funds to pay the rent from Feb. 19-27, which was
the last day recorded on the statement.
Morrow said that the two-year-old church has
only about a dozen members, but that it has spon-
sors in other parts of the country that provided
funds for it to obtain a permanent location. Funds
were available to pay the rent, he said.
The church previously met at All Saints
Episcopal Church until the uproar in the
Episcopalian church over the ordination of a gay
bishop caused local officials to ask them to
move, he said.
Morrow said that he grew up in Connecticut,
and that he has been a pastor for gay churches for
about 11 years.
Rasansky sent Morrow a letter of default on
March 4 ordering the church to vacate the prop-
erty. The rent must be paid before a lease can be
prepared, Rasansky said.
"I never give somebody a lease agreement
when they don't pay their first month's rent and
a deposit," Rasansky said.
Morrow said that Rasansky promised him the
use of about 25 parking spaces when he agreed
to rent the building, but the council member later
claimed that he never discussed parking for the
"A lot of people think when you are a preach-
er that you are a pushover and they can do you
dirty in business," Morrow said. "I've got news.
This preacher does not get pushed over very
easy. I'm a bulldog when it comes to business."
After a harsh telephone conversation, Morrow
said Rasansky asked him to come to his office to
discuss their dispute. The conversation went
well, with Rasansky promising to solve the park-
ing problem, until the subject of the rent check
and the lease came up, he said.
Morrow said that he wants Rasansky to refund
the security deposit and the improvements that
the church made to the building. Rasansky coun-
tered that he is willing to refund the security
deposit, less the days of rent accrued for the
month of March so far.
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 20, No. 45, Ed. 1 Friday, March 12, 2004, newspaper, March 12, 2004; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238885/m1/20/: accessed October 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.