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Peace Memorial Auditorium
Posted: 25 July 2013 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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The AC will also be part of the gym/auditorium.  The project has many parts. In a nut shell the stage goes away, the gym space is made bigger, AC is installed and yes the folks at parks and recreation finally get a decent office.  The city saves money, we do not need to issue more bonds and customer service is improved.  The two basketball courts can be used to host all sorts of other events as movable seating; podiums, elevated platforms and the like are available.  The only detractor is the theatrical stage.  We lose the stage to gain other efficiencies.  So the discussion boils down to a simple cost benefit analysis, is the loss of the stage worth the potential gain?  I would answer yes.

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Posted: 25 July 2013 04:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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To be clear, I’m not “enamored” with the stage. I just think it’s disingenuous of you to try and frame it as consistent to it’s memorial intent. Are you going to require these people to walk or bike to work?  Or is a new acreage of reserved parking part of your memorial vision?

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Posted: 25 July 2013 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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“The discussion boils down to”?  No, Wynn, that’s what YOU want the discussion to boil down to. The fact that you keep repeating the same list, saying what WILL BE, shows that you’ll ram this thing through whether it’s a complete bastardization of the memorial intent or not

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Posted: 26 July 2013 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Where is it written that the parks and recs offices have to be planted in the middle of a park anyway?  Aren’t there empty office spaces around town that wouldn’t require millions in renovations?  If you’re really concerned about the bottom line, why haven’t you looked into that?

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Posted: 26 July 2013 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Randall,
Silly question.  You know why they haven’t pursued that option.  Because they don’t want to.

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Posted: 26 July 2013 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Someone has sold this idea due to the elimination of personnel.  “Gubmint is too big”!!!  We need to get rid of those gubmint employees who are nuthin’ but bloodsuckers.  Evidently, someone feels we have cutomer service personnel at City Hall AND at the Perps Department sitting around painting their fingernails and eating Cheetos.  Now, we can move the Perps to City Hall, have some of those who are being paid full time but only working half time earn their wages, and fire those no longer needed.  The Perps Department could probably simply charge a reasonable amount to The Marlins for use of the pools and cover the costs of what they pay a customer service person.  But, that would allow this huge waste of tax dollars employing a customer servcie person for the Parks Department to continue.  Can’t have that…..

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Posted: 26 July 2013 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Larry,
Did you notice that I hit 500? Now, 501…You will never catch me!
I agree…there are many other cheaper options.  It is beyond me why these are not being pursued. Like Randall, I don’t believe that the auditorium is all that important.  It has been ignored for years.  The first time I went in there was for a garage sale a few years ago.  I wasn’t even sure where it was.
However, what I don’t like is ramming this thing down our throats, without some consideration of the building’s significance. I am not certain as to why Wynn is so hell bent on this project.  It is starting to sound like an obsession.
We are getting a lot of readers on this thread….ten times more and we will have the number of basketball players in Manhattan!

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Posted: 26 July 2013 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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You know, I am actually just wondering what these Parks people actually do.  I believe I read that it is the largest department in the city.  What exactly do they do?
Sorry about that perps and wrecks comment…from what I understand, it should be Perps and Rakes.  Somebody please tell me what they do. Host a few softball games? Supervise the muggings in City Park? Watch people swim in the pool?

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Posted: 26 July 2013 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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I could not find a good picture of the plaque at the auditorium that was readable.  Will try to go and take a photo so people can see what is really on the plaque.  Many people have never read it and are making assumptions about what it says.  I have read the archives and historical documents on the history of the building.  No legal justification exists for not modifying the building.  The memorial intent is not harmed in any fashion; in fact the renovation better supports the living memorial idea. 
Parks and Recreation takes care of the kids.  They handle a number of recreation programs, the pool just being one of many.  The city website has details http://www.ci.manhattan.ks.us/Index.aspx?NID=21.  Theater is just one of many programs.  The folks closest to the process – the MPRD theater staff believe that the kids would be better served by the basketball courts than the stage. 
I would not say that I am obsessed with this project.  It does however fit the bill of responsible growth and keeping the debt down.  The project has one detractor, the fact that we will not be able to run a production of the Sound of Music.  But it has many positives.  Those that are obsessed with the stage are basing their decision making on feelings as opposed to looking at the data and the bigger picture. 
Larry you might want to send in an application to be a member of the parks and recreation board.  You can then help us get into the details of how to improve efficiency.

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Posted: 26 July 2013 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Wynn,
You don’t like The Sound of Music?????
That is un-American…or un-German.
Just for the record, who are these 15,000 basketball players who seem to be driving this thing….Names?

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Posted: 26 July 2013 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Do that Larry.  I hear that you can make a lot of money stealing from concession stands.  That would offset your tax burden.

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Posted: 26 July 2013 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Oh, if people only knew what the plaque says and what the dedication program says, and if they only realized the plans are just for a “remodel,” then they would all understand.  Right?  Except, the people who are upset already know these things and are still unhappy with the plans.  They also aren’t clueless about the data and the big picture.  As I had predicted, last night’s public meeting was a “dog and pony show,” i.e. “here’s what we’re doing, now tell how much you like it.”

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Posted: 26 July 2013 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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True to form, Wynn sticks to repeating YET AGAIN the same gas..same WORDS even… proclaiming a memorial retained and money saved and evabody happy except those hippy-dippy theatre types.  What a crock of sht. Just like little wannabe congressmen, the “staff” brings them something, tells them it’s wunnerful, and they can’t WAIT to drop millions on it. 
News for you Wynn, that’s not “conservative”, that just lazy good ol boys spreading out tax dollars among their buddies.  There’s not a lick of difference between you and Snead.

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Posted: 26 July 2013 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I do understand this project is already a long ways down the road.  I suspect quite a bit of money has been spent to keep it moving along.  To change horses, now, would cost additional dollars.  Budgets are set.  I do have a couple of questions…

1.  Did the City Commission ever ask about any legaleeze re the Auditorium that, if known, might have caused considerations of other alternatives?
2.  If the Commission did inquire, was City Staff “straight up” with answers?  In other words, has the Commission been mindful of the memorial issue for a substantial segment of the 18 month project?
3.  If the Commission inquired but was not informed of this issue, is the City Staff person responsible still employed with the City?
4.  Didn’t P&R immediately jump into the old fire station at Anderson and Wreath?  Could that facility not have been refurbished into office space?

I keep hearing “no bonds”.  Evidently, we are financing this project from funds already in our hip pocket.  Why cannot those funds be redirected to construct P&R offices at another location… without having to sell bonds?  We would lose some design costs already incurred.  And we would lose some time.  Would costs incurred to date be recoverable in the utilization of an alternate location?

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Posted: 26 July 2013 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Kathy:  Not everyone agrees with the stage point of view.  It is too bad we cannot take a legitimate poll.  In either case no new evidence has come forth to change my viewpoint.  You can call it a dog and pony show, but I did not see either dogs or ponies.  We had some good discussion and several folks were present that supported the concept.  We had some passion dialogue with those that wish to put the stage above all other priorities.  A decision matrix of plus and minus points still equates to the conclusion that the project is a good one and benefits more kids and people than the current configuration.

Randall:  Yes, the memorial will not be eliminated and I will continue to repeat that fact.  The wall will remain the plaque will remain and the building will be rededicated. The living memorial will continue to serve its purpose.  I will have to check with Mayor Snead to see if I am dong OK, not sure he is in sync with your comment.

Larry:  To answer your questions:

1.  Did the City Commission ever ask about any legaleeze re the Auditorium that, if known, might have caused considerations of other alternatives? Yes when we voted the first time, we added a comment for the staff and legal folks to double check to be sure that no legitimate legal reason existed for not doing the renovation. 

2. If the Commission did inquire, was City Staff “straight up” with answers?  In other words, has the Commission been mindful of the memorial issue for a substantial segment of the 18 month project? Yes again, and be sure to not blame the staff.  This is one that the Commission pushed on a 4-1 vote.  I believe the commission was mindful, from the legal standpoint of what could be done or not done with the building.  It would be true though to say that we did not take a survey of folks that might get their feelings hurt about removing the stage.  The staff, I think would be more than happy to accommodate everyone, more basketball courts and the ability to put on a performance of Paint Your Wagon (better than the sound of Music, had Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin in it- more American).  The staff got its direction from the Commission.  They do not deserve any grief about this project. They acted upon the direction given.  The easy solution is to just build a bigger better auditorium and a bigger better parks and recreation building.  It can be done, all we need to do is raise taxes (the staff may not care if you pay more).  The commission may determine to do that, but it will not be a unanimous vote.

3.  If the Commission inquired but was not informed of this issue, is the City Staff person responsible still employed with the City? Not relevant based on the answer to one and two.

4. Didn’t P&R immediately jump into the old fire station at Anderson and Wreath?  Could that facility not have been refurbished into office space?  That would be Public Works, not parks and recreation. Remember that the old shop and garage space was destroyed in a micro burst a couple of years ago, so the fire station saved a possible additional bond issue and building requirement.

We could build the P & R office with the current CIP funds, but we would not be able to reduce the staff because the location would work against consolidation.  So more money would be needed for the P&R building, plus we would have none for the auditorium.  So the auditorium would remain as it currently is, without AC and with no further improvement.

The people passed on a 60% margin the sales tax initiative with the 35% for debt reduction.  Before we even collect a years’ worth of those debt reduction funds, we have people wanting to add to the debt. It does not compute.  Seems like 60% or so of the people are for debt reduction.

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