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Peace Memorial Auditorium
Posted: 26 July 2013 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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As if a poll would make a difference.  Nothing else was considered.  EXACTLY.

As to whether the living memorial (not the plaque, Winn) is retained, I’m calling bullshit.  Offices for city employees weren’t part of the memorial to begin with, there’s no way that you can say that they were intended as part of a living memorial.

I guess I have to ask again.  Where is it written that Parks and rec offices have to be in the park?  If you are looking to “cut costs”, at least that what you’re always SAYING you want, why weren’t other offices… near downtown, for instance… considered?  ANYBODY with any business sense knows to look at several options when costs are being considered.  Why the lack of independent thought on the commission?  Who the hell is driving this boat?

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Posted: 27 July 2013 04:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Randall, there’s lots “driving this boat”.  There’s the political issue where we can’t allow the ‘liberals’ to get credit for a new P&R office.  The ‘cons’ have to shout about how they cut ‘gubmint’... gettin’ their “Brownie point”.  The consolidation of the P&R into City Hall will be a big campaign point when the next election cycle rolls around… especially if they can show some jobs were cut.  Another “driver” is the fear of losing the Perps Department.  The ‘cons’ brag about cutting ‘gubmint’ and wanting to consolidate the City of Manhattan and Riley County services… as long as the City is the “driver”.  There’s fear… as there should be… that the City Commission might be replaced by the far too high paid County Commissioners.  The City commissioners dont’ get paid nearly as much as their County counterparts.  The City handed the Health Department to the County and we still aren’t seeing the budget control some would like.  The County has recently pushed through a “Facilities Committee” to see where they can justify building new buildings with tax dollars.  We don’t have any recent structures with bronze plaques commemorating this set of commissioners.  The County recently built the large complex north of town.  The last thing the ‘cons’ on this commission want is to see the Perps handed to the County and that department expanded.  So… build new offices that can be a justification for keeping the Perps Department under the thumb of the City.
The P&R facilities are utilized extensively by those who live out in Riley, Pott, Geary, and other neighboring counties.  I’ve always wondered why the City taxpayers support these facilities and don’t charge a little more for use by non-City residents.  There’s currently too much political power living out in the County.  If P&R were absorbed by Riley County, all country residents would have to buck up and support that department.  Can’t have that when so many are not paying now.  Push new offices through so that Manhattan taxpayers can continue being the sole supporter of those facilities… and the City staff’s resumes are not lessened by substantially cutting the number of “report to” positions.

There are many “drivers”.  Most all of this is political.  That’s why, IIRC, the only two other alternatives considered were carefully chosen so as to not be feasible.  Like I said earlier, why wasn’t the old Fire Station on Anderson looked at?  When we constructed a new sign shop on FRB, why wasn’t some office space added for Parks?  Why? Why? Why?  No one wanted to spend the money to fix up the Auditorium.  Wreck it out and put the Perps Department there and brag to your constituency about how many jobs we can cut because of it.  Oh… and how do you expect to attract a high-paid Parks Department Director if he doesn’t have an office comparable to Assitant City Managerssss, Chamber executives, etc.?????

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Posted: 27 July 2013 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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I’m going to have to call bullshit on this, too, Larry.  The county has nothing to do with this.  Note Wynn’s silence AGAIN, when I ask where it’s written that Parks and Recs. have to have their offices planted right in the middle of the city park, and why NOTHING else was considered.  It’s the OPPOSITE of what he’s continually patting himself on the back about.  It’s the OPPOSITE of due diligence. 

I’ll say it again.  These self-absorbed yahoos aren’t interested in saving money, they only want to spend out tax moneys the way THEY want to spend them.  County commission, city commission, not a nickel’s worth of difference.

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Posted: 27 July 2013 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Larry asked, “In other words, has the Commission been mindful of the memorial issue for a substantial segment of the 18 month project?” Butler’s answer, “Yes again, and be sure to not blame the staff.”

Mr. Hilgers said during the Historic Resources Board meeting on July 22 that no one was aware and there has not been any information about the memorial in any staff-prepared agenda packets pertaining to the renovation plans.  To my knowledge, the first the memorial issue was brought forward was during the June 4, 2013 city commission meeting, and it was brought up by citizens during public comment and not staff.  To my knowledge, the commission has not been provided with detailed information about the history of the memorial during an open meeting and has only heard a few minutes of citizens comments during one meeting.  Knowing about the memorial for the past 6 weeks is not what I would call a “substantial segment of the 18-monhth project,” but I suppose it’s all in how one interprets “substantial.” 

I did not say that everyone in town is on the same page about the project.  What I said was that the people who are upset are not clueless.

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Posted: 27 July 2013 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Pasting a letter from a Manhattan friend.  I’m sure SILENCE will be the response.  The fix is in, and no one’s going to get in the way, right Wynn?

“There’s plenty of empty office space for Parks & Rec in the building at the corner of 4th & Pierre – across the street from where CivicPlus is building their new building (which is another irony – Ward Morgan asks for financial assistance from the city so he can build a new building and then turns around and can afford to open Hibachi Hut on Poyntz.  Kinda like Dave Dreiling asking for money from the city and then donating $250,000 to the City Park Pavilion project).  I would also argue that regardless of whether Parks & Rec staff is relocated to city hall, they could still reduce staff.  Allow people to enroll their kids for classes online and then it doesn’t matter.  This notion that people want a “one-stop shop” is just a convenient argument for Hilgers to get more basketball courts – just like he was more than willing to give the baseball field in City Park to Manhattan Christian College and make Baker Field into a parking lot for the City Park Pool.  Of the four options the commission considered, the one they chose was the most expensive.  There was another option that built new offices on the existing site and made improvements to the city auditorium (retaining the stage and adding a basketball court, which seems to be a “need”), plus didn’t cost the taxpayers as much as the option that was chosen.  Wynn wants a legacy and for some reason he’s chosen this as his legacy.  He doesn’t want to be remembered as being negative – this is something he thinks people will remember him for in a positive way.  Someone needs to tell him that no one is going to remember him period.”

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Posted: 27 July 2013 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Nice letter, Randall, and I agree with it 100%.
To be honest, the few times I have been in this building, I was not all that impressed.  It might have been impressive when it was built.  Nonetheless, it does not need to be turned into basketball courts, and Wynn’s devotion to this, in my opinion borders on an obsession.  It seems like, to me, that getting this done is more a matter of proving you CAN, rather than whether or not you SHOULD. It is a power play… a flexing of non-existent muscle.  If he can get away with this, he will simply be empowered to do whatever he wants.  Ditto for those of like mind.

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Posted: 27 July 2013 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Here are some excerpts from the historical record on the building and memorial.  Here is the first recommendation from Committee 1948:

1.  A memorial foyer(note not a stage or auditorium)
2. An auditorium, arena type, seating not less than 400, equipped with public address system and projection booth. (note no stage)
3. At least one room seating about 400, equipped with stage, public address system, projection booth, and separate heating facilities (here we have first mention of a stage)
4. Six to eight conference rooms each seating about fifty.
5. Permanent space for the Youth Program with a playroom, dance floor, and basketball courts. (the youth program MPRD).
6. A basement with kitchen and large dining room equipped with movable partitions, and public address system.
7. City Offices.  (Yes City Offices of all types).
8. Historical Society Museum.
9. Ramps instead of Stairways.
10. Exterior preferably of stone.

In 1949 the committee working on this project recommended to the commission and mayor:
1.  That the building be a memorial to those who served in the armed forces. (the building not the stage).
2. That rooms be provided for activities of veterans and similar organizations.
3. That room be provided to house the Riley County Historical Museum (3000 Sq. Feet)
4. That one small auditorium seating about 400 be provided with a stage, public address system and projection booth. (the stage is mentioned here).
5. That the main auditorium be adequate to seat 3500 to 4000.  The auditorium should be of the arena type to provide for the estimated 100 conventions held yearly in Manhattan. (The stage was the secondary based on this wording).
6. That Dining and Kitchen facilities be provided for serving 1000.
7.  That offices for City Officials be provided in the building.
8. That space be provided for a Recreation Program. (MPRD?)
9. That a basement showroom be provided for exposition purposes.
10. That the fire department be placed in a separate building.
11. That a rifle range be provided.

The committee recommends that city offices be included in the auditorium program, funds for which should be obtained by sale of the Community Building. It was also suggested that the building be constructed from native limestone.

I think the historical record indicates that the wants of the community at the time were bigger than the budget.  Still the case today.  I would like that rifle range and second the motion on selling the community building. 

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Posted: 27 July 2013 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Despite your little “additions” to the historical documents, it’s clear that the stage was part of memorial.  Nuff said.  How about, instead of “excerpts” you post the entire document?  Or a link thereto?

Now, about those other options presented that cost less?  Wynn?  Wynn?  Bueller?  Anyone?

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Posted: 27 July 2013 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015082102115;view=1up;seq=1

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Posted: 27 July 2013 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Hmm.  I see the memorial dedication ceremony praising the “acoustical quality” of the auditorium.  I guess Wynn would say it was so designed to better hear the basketball players talking to each other?

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Posted: 27 July 2013 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Links to some of the historic documents concerning City Hall can be fond at the bottom of this page:

http://ourmanhattan.org/thoughtsfrommrkaw.html

Some Thoughts ....

http://ourmanhattan.org/images/Thoughts_Heritage_or_Waste_of_Money.pdf

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Posted: 27 July 2013 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Links to a PAC?  Really, Wynn?  I found the real thing.  Why would you post links from a PAC?  Isn’t there anything in those milktoast “ethics” guidelines about city commissioners doing the bidding of PAC’s?

Now, for the fourth time, how about those LESS EXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVES?  When did you give up on the “fiscal discipline” thing?  Or was it, as many suspect, just red meat for the rubes to get you into the high-back?

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Posted: 28 July 2013 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Randall:  The OM website provides a service as it can host large files that you cannot attach to the forum.  In the case of the PDF file on the auditorium, it is huge and requires a big of a lag to load.  You are apparently not happy no matter what is done.  You ask for the files (due to lack of time to research I assume) and then complain about the housing location.  I have always been a participate in OM, and I think that is common knowledge.  You miss the point on cost.  The plan in place does not require property tax support.  It will not increase the mil levy or raise your property taxes.  Other alternatives will impact that taxes on property and that is why I do not support those options.  Most of the projects proposed have merit, but everything always boils down to the final cost.  That was evident in the 1948-1955 evolution of the current City Hall structure.  Big initial plans, smaller results.    The memos posted contain the cost.  Spin it anyway you like.  I think the horse, as they use to say in the Cavalry, is beaten to death at this point.

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Posted: 28 July 2013 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Wynn, I asked, and received links from others, that didn’t require a trip through a PAC website.  Your “affiliation” with this PAC is something to brag about, I guess?  Promoting the “comments” section must be what you consider due diligence?

FACT:  There were less expensive options that would have accomplished the same goals. 
FACT:  You not only didn’t choose those presented, you didn’t seek knowledge of any of a number of other options that would have been cheaper, more logical, and less intrusive on the very limited public green spaces left in Manhattan. 

Only you (and probably some good ol boys) know your driving motivations here.  But, it’s plain to see they aren’t the one’s you keep trumpeting. 

Yes, it’s a dead horse, because this thing was decided behind closed doors long ago.  Manhattan has, for at least the last four incarnations of “city commission” been much larger and complex than the “brain trust” at the helm.  So, we get bait-n-switch development, vanity projects, cash give-aways, tax give-aways, real estate give-aways, and the good ol boys BUYING UP Manhattan with the money that WE gave them.  We get “moral responsibility for debt” written into contracts with out-of-state developers.  Incompetence compounded with each successive parade of stuffed shirts in the high-backs.  Talking points repeated over and over until the brain numbs.

As for my property taxes going up?  You’re niggling about… what?  2 or 3 dollars on my tax bill?  $40 million dollars just cleared committee on the NBAF.  $40 million dollars headed for a town of 53,000.  3/4 of a million for each resident.  We won’t all get it, but we’ll all feel it.

My tax bills will rise or fall on the condition of the economy.  YOU will have nothing to do with it. It’s dream or vanity to think otherwise. 

 

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Posted: 05 August 2013 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Several sources have made comments that cheaper and better options are available.  Here are the four options and concepts considered by the Commission concerning the Parks and Recreation office and the auditorium.
Feb 26, 2013:

1. For $1.35 million renovate the existing Parks and Rec structure (the old garage)
2. For $1.5 million tear down the Parks and Rec structure and replace with a new one in the current location.
3. For $1.26 million take out the fixed seating in the Auditorium and replace with Parks and Rec office.  This would not renovate the auditorium, gym add AC or do anything to the current condition of the auditorium.
4. For $2.95 million renovate the auditorium, add basketball court, remove stage, fix roof, add AC and put Parks and Rec structure in fixed seating location.

Cost/Benefit Considerations: 

Option 3 is the cheapest, it leaves the stage, does not fix any auditorium deficiencies, removes fixed seating to add P&R offices.  Does not address any auditorium deficiencies, retains stage, but removes fixed seating. 
Option 1 & 2 are cheaper than option four, but provide zero improvement to the auditorium and prevent consolidation of staff into one location.  Leaves P&R offices in City Park.
Option 4 is the most expensive and the best value.  This option provides significant repair to the auditorium and integrates the option 3 office concept.  $1.26 million is used for the offices and $1.69 million is used to renovate the auditorium (HVAC, electrical, locker rooms, ceiling, pull-out seating and two basketball courts) and remove stage.  Basketball court usage data is significantly higher than stage use data. 
Option 1, 2 and 3 do not provide any funds for renovation of the auditorium.

$1.8 million was available in the CIP budget reserve after the new traffic shop offices were constructed.  This balance was available for use on the Parks office.  Two other projects – The Community House and the Auditorium repairs were future CIP projects that could be funded, by adding additional bonds to the bond and interest fund. The Commission set a mil levy goal of zero increase for 2014.  This prohibited funding for either the auditorium or the Community House.
City staff was directed to see it they could combine auditorium renovation and parks and rec offices into one project, that could be accomplished without adding to the mill levy.  Staff was directed to explore option 4, with the express purpose of achieving both an auditorium upgrade and new parks and rec offices, without a property tax or mill levy increase.

June 4th:

The Commission considered the following finance option for the auditorium/parks and rec office combined project.  Cost of $2.95 million.  $1.8 million from current CIP reserve. The remaining $1.1 million is accumulated over 10 years from two sources -  Special Parks and Recreation Fund and staff savings due to consolidation at City Hall.

Debt service on $1.1 million would be $148,000 per year for ten years.  The elimination of two full time positions along with the benefits will save $105,000 per year.  The additional $43,000 would come from a transfer from the Special Parks and recreation Fund for 10 years.  This option would not require a mill levy increase. 

The Commission voted 4-1 to spend $123,435 on final design and bidding for the project.

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