< 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
3 of 7
Peace Memorial Auditorium
Posted: 23 July 2013 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  784
Joined  2012-10-10

So, I guess the question is, “Will the outpouring of concerned citizens and veterans who attended the Historic Resources Advisory Board Meeting have any bearing on the Commission’s decision?  Or, is this Commission heck bent on moving this project forward, regardless of community input and concerns?”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 July 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

As mentioned by Mr. Hilgers at the HRB meeting on Monday, he has not verified whether the stages listed that are not owned by the city are available for the public to use.  Also mentioned at the meeting, a stage is not simply a raised platform, and not all stages are the same size nor have the same features, meaning the stages listed are not simply interchangeable.  The Peace Memorial Auditorium stage had a portable lift for handicapped access, and it was reported at the HRB meeting that the lift isn’t operable and has been tucked away in a back corner of the stage with nets tossed on top of it.  It seems to be a chicken and egg scenario—has the auditorium been neglected because there’s no interest in using it and so reason to invest in its maintenance, or does no one want to use it because there’s no A/C, the fixed seats are broken and in poor condition, and stage lights are missing or not operable, etc.?

I’m still not sure why the proposed $2.95 million dollar option is the best option.  If $1.8 million is available in the Capital Improvement Project Reserve fund, then why couldn’t that amount be used to add on to City Hall?  Adding on would still allow all the benefits of having the Parks and Rec staff in the building and would keep the memorial auditorium intact.

Larry, that’s the question, isn’t it?  OK, city staff and the commission weren’t aware about the memorial aspect of the auditorium, but now they are.  When you know better, you do better.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 July 2013 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Maybe, at some point in time, people in Manhattan will realize that Mr Hilgers is a slimy, groveling little liar…a dupe for Dial…and, the sooner we send him back to Omaha, the better off we all shall be. It surprises me that he has not been given a cushy job with Dial after all he did for them.
Now, I don’t really care what happens to the auditorium, or the scout cabin, or the rest of what is left of Manhattan,...which is not much…but I think those of you who are unfortunate enough to still live there, should be a little worried.
Wynn and pals will tear the rest of it down, and, most of you will applaud them for it. That is why you are called “idiot jerks”.  Have a nice evening ......

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 July 2013 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  478
Joined  2012-10-10

Michael; The information published is fact as I know it.  I wanted to be sure that legitimate questions are answered.  To make the statement that what I posted is a lie, is of course false.  To state it is a sham borders on libel.  The other comments are just plain malicious and I will not reply to those.  The email was from the Recreation Supervisor of the City of Manhattan.  Facts are stubborn things as John Adams said during the Boston Massacre trials.  Those that wish to ignore the facts many times revert to personal attacks.  By the way the Recreation Supervisor position is currently held by Kathryn Swan.  I apologize if I hurt your feelings on the voter comment.  But it is a fact that you are not a registered Manhattan voter.  That does not however disqualify you from having an opinion on the issue.

The good news is that at least you got some postings going in the almost dead forum.

Kathy and Larry:  The wall plaque has been in place as long as I can remember.  So to say that no one was aware of the Memorial Auditorium is a stretch.  The combination of the renovation and parks and recreation office space makes best use of funds.  No tax increase, no new bonds.  All things considered the project still appears to be the best fit. 

Some in the community will not agree, we will never have consensus.  That appears to have been the case even back in the 1950s.  The original documents contained a comment: the auditorium would be either arena or theatrical, very indefinite as to type of auditorium (one without a stage).  Also from the original documents the 1949 – the committee recommendation to the commission – That the building be a memorial to those who served in the armed forces (the building not the stage).  It also stated on a list of 11 findings that a rifle range should be provided.  At one point in the process it was recommended that the Commission sell the Community Building to help finance the project.  The historical documents are very interesting as they basically demonstrate that not much has changed over the years.  Many different ideas were kicked around for the building and funding was always a concern.  In fact the first couple of bond issues on the building failed.  Disagreement has been the norm with the building.  I will continue to support the project as voted and bid.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 July 2013 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

I don’t remember using the word “sham”....and libel is very hard to prove…trust me on this. First, the statement must be untrue, and THEN, you must also prove that it was made with malice aforethought…that is almost impossible to prove, which is why almost no one wins a libel suit.  However, please continue wagging your little tail and posting undocumented commentaries, which you post as fact. If you want to prove me wrong, then tell us who wrote that little polemic that you posted as fact.
Just exactly…who is the “Recreation supervisor”...Is that Hilgers?...or is it some other thief who steals money from the concession stand?
Oh, here’s another goody for you regarding libel. If you are a public figure, people can say what they want about you, and you can’t do a damned thing about it…ain’t that a kick in the ass mr. Commissioner?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 July 2013 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  141
Joined  2012-10-21

Mr. Butler, Mr. Hilgers said during the HRB meeting that no one was aware that the auditorium was a memorial.  Now, one of the architects who was involved with the City Hall project that added the city commission room said he had been made aware that the auditorium was a memorial when they worked on that project.  As that was a number of years ago, perhaps the employees who knew it no longer work for the city.  And, if you’re trying to say that people did know, then why was that information not included in agenda packets from the start?  Which way do you want to play it?  Innocence, because no one knew?  Or, conspiracy, because people knew and weren’t up front about it in the event it could cause problems?

The Community House was not sold to finance the original project because the Chamber of Commerce asked the City Commission not to sell it because it was still useful to the community.

The e-mail from the supervisor pretty much makes the case that the theater program could use Peace Memorial Auditorium if it were in good shape.  The only thing it’s lacking is a workshop to make sets.

The 15,000 users quoted in the Mercury letter to the editor are repeat users.  If the statistic of 205 users for the stage is going to be cited, then the corresponding unique users statistic for the gym should be cited, which is 3,400.  Not that anyone is trying to be deceptive or anything.

The sad thing about all of this is that city staff and at least one commissioner are stepping forward and saying they really don’t want to hear anymore from the public.  “This is what we’re doing, and that’s it.”  It’s sad to see such strong attempts to squash any discussion of alternate ideas and to realize that any innovative idea that could be out there, would fall on deaf ears.  Maybe there’s a win-win idea out there, but the shields are clearly up at City Hall and no one wants to hear it. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 July 2013 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Wynn,
My apologies.  You did provide a name and I just missed it. I caught it in a rereading. I’ll admit it when I am wrong…will you?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 July 2013 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  784
Joined  2012-10-10

After the 3:2 vote to table the notion of having the Cabin recognized as a historic structure, perhaps we will see a similar motion on the Perps & Wrecks officies.  Jankovich was the swing vote on the Cabin tabling.  If he would be the swing vote to shut down the P&R office project until further discusison, the two ladies and Jankovich could make it happen. 

Personally, I don’t care what they do.  I am not a fan of the Perps & Wrecks Department.  I am just amazed that a couple of commissioners are so dead set on thumbing their nose at a significant constituency.  Was there a huge turnout of folks demanding that the P&R offices be located in the Auditorium?  I don’t believe so.  For some reason, this seems to be a pet project of a specific commissioner.  Now that this new information has been made public, why can’t other alternative sites be reconsidered?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 July 2013 10:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  478
Joined  2012-10-10

Larry:  This project has been in the works for 18 months.  A key point is that this is not a staff initiative.  I think they would be happy to float a new bond for a rebuild of a bigger better gym, stage etc and another bond to build a bigger better parks and recreation office.  Or float a bond to enlarge the current building to occupy what little grass remains providing everything that everyone wants (maybe even the rifle range that was in the design criteria when the building was built.  After all the debt is only 373 million and we have not reached the limit yet.  The commission ask the staff for alternatives to combine the projects and achieve some efficiency, cost savings and achieve the goal of better facility use, improved offices, cost savings and better customer service.  The plan achieves all of those goals without increasing the debt, no new bonds.

The staff’s original presentation was for increased debt and a bigger building.  The vote to proceed with the scaled down version was 4-1.  That vote committed funds to the design project. The first vote contained a caveat to double check historical documents to ensure that no contract or other legal document existed to prevent removal of the stage. 

I do not believe anyone is ignoring a significant number of constituents.  I think we have a small vocal few – a special interest group, that is choosing to ignore the budget and are also ignoring the necessity to provide a decent work environment for the parks and recreation staff; they also appear to ignore the customer service aspects of the consolidation.  I say special interest group as a little over 200 folks used the stage last year but over 14,000 used the basketball court.  The special interest group folks have feelings for the stage.  But the thing has not been used, nobody seems to have cared one bit about it for the past few years, as no one has come forward demanding its repair or improvement.  The comments about heritage, feelings etc.  are just not data driven.  I am against any new bonds to support the auditorium or Parks and Recreation.  So if this project does not go forward, then I will not support either option auditorium or parks,  if it will add to the debt.  I will support no basketball courts and a stage, as that will still achieve the goal.  It does not matter to me if we have a stage or basketball courts.  I wonder how many constituents will come forward if we suggest the elimination of the basketball courts? 

As for the cabin, I made the motion to table and Rich seconded the motion.  My point at the time was to figure out what we would do with the cabin, before we vote to put it on the register.  If it is put on the register first, it implies that we will spend funds to improve or maintain the cabin.  The reality is that the cabin is right in front of the sewer plant.  Not an ideal location.  It has not been used for 20 years.  No one has come up with an idea on how to use the cabin.  So should the tax payer but a few hundred thousand into the cabin for the purpose of keeping a building that is not useful?  Maybe we should just give up on both and put a bond issue up for vote in 2014 for whatever the cost of the two projects would be – several million.  Let us see if the voters and a significant number of our constituents really would like to increase their tax burden further. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 05:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  784
Joined  2012-10-10

Wynn… I’m just as much against raising taxes as are you.  Sheesh!  Did you see where Topeka is looking at an 11 mil increase???  That might be good news for Manhattan.  We may get more of the Department of Ag employees moving here, due to the huge property tax increase in Topeka.

Okay… here’s my fear.  We have an aging City Hall that we’ve stuffed a gaggle of Assistant City Mangers, assorted staff, a new Legal Department.  The community is dynamic… growing… and City staff will continue its growth to accomodate the necessary services.  I feel putting the Perps Department in the Auditorium is simply a stop-gap excuse to build a new City Hall.  We’ll get the Perps all settled in, we’ll suggest combining staff to reduce costs, and soon we will here that City staff has grown too large for the structure.
I’m not suggesting or condoning “floating bonds” for a Perps Department office.  If we’re looking at well over $2 million to refurbish the Auditorium, are other options out there that could use the same funding source?  Were all alternatives looked at or simply those suggested by the recently departed Perps Director? 
I understand this has been in discussion for 18 months.  Yet, to my knowledge, the fact of the memorial was never made public until recently.  That was an error on the part of City staff.  The fact this was a memorial should have been part of the public discourse from the get-go. 

It seems to me that if anyone is heck bent on spending City dollars it’s you.  Sorry!  But it’s almost like, “Let’s get this built so we can spend the money before someone comes up with a more fiscally sound… and less community intrusive idea.”  It’s almost like you have authorship for this Auditorium redo and are taking it as a personal slight if this goes back to the drawing board.  Don’t spend more money.  Don’t “float bonds”.  To me is sounds like you could refurbish the existing Perps Department building for less money.  Then, begin a campaign with veterans groups in town to start raising private funds to put the Memorial Auditorium back in a usable state.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  962
Joined  2012-10-12

Larry,
To be entirely fair to the commissioner.  I think he is simply looking for a Wynn-Wynn situation.
Oh, like in the good old days, we could chain ourselves to the door, preventing this.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  478
Joined  2012-10-10

You make some good points.  I would hate to see a justification for a bigger better city hall, but one of the plans last year was for just that – expanding at significant cost into the green space that is left.  One of the other ideas was to refurbish the current parks and rec building.  The end result though would still give us two customer service locations.  By consolidating we reduce staff and that is an attractive part of the concept – less staff less reason for more space.  Doing two projects will I believe end up costing more, that was part of the discussion over the past year.  I like the idea of coming up with a plan to raise private funds to refurbish.  But I guess I am still missing the connection between the stage and the memorial.  The history of the memorial is that it was based on the concept of a public building.  The original documents indicated that the building was going to be the memorial.  The stage was never the memorial.  The renovated building fits with the original concept and retains the memorial.  The narrative is really about the stage, not the memorial as it will continue to exist.  We have people that want a stage and others that do not see the utility.  I do find it interesting that no one seemed to care about the stage until a renovation plan was put in place.  I cannot remember anyone making a suggestion to fix the stage or voice any concern over the memorial aspect of the building.  It is also interesting that few people seem to care about the hourly workers (not the managers) but the folks really doing the work in parks and recreation that have maybe the worst working offices of any group in the city.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 02:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  714
Joined  2013-07-13

If the stage was part of the origin design, and not added later, then it IS a part of the original memorial. Saying it wasn’t doesn’t make it so.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  478
Joined  2012-10-10

I understand the passion for the underutilized stage.  But, it seems to me that based upon the historical record the idea was to have the building be the memorial, not the stage.  They also wanted a monument that would serve a useful public purpose.  So the idea of a living memorial was created.  The memorial will remain and be rededicated.  The stage is not the heart of the memorial concept.  In 1954 the stage was a great asset.  But entertainment venues have changed, and many more stage facilities now exist in the city.  The project continues to honor the World War Two Veterans by keeping alive the original concept of a Living Memorial.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 July 2013 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  714
Joined  2013-07-13

Almost, Wynn. The stage is part of the design as a living memorial. Air conditioned offices for government desk jockeys MIGHT , if you cock your head just so, be considered a living memorial, but only to sprawling government

Profile
 
 
   
 < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
3 of 7
 

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502

Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without written consent.