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Peace Memorial Auditorium
Posted: 05 August 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Wynn, I am still having difficulty understanding where the two positions will be cut.  You say P&R will save $105,000 each year for 10 years by eliminating these two people.  The P&R budget is broken down into various sub-entites.  They won’t fire someone from the Discovery Center, Zoo, Douglass Center, Animal Shelter, or Swimming Pools.  Those would not be “overlap” positions.  A sub-entity of “Parks” would be assumed to include maintenance and upkeep of the parks and green space.  P&R were allowed to increase that budget this year due to the added parks in the 3rd/4th Street Redevelopment area that will require taxpayer funded maintenance.  Will we cut staff there and let grass grow in Dial’s front yard?  I doubt it.  A sub-entity is “Recreation”.  How will cutting of umpires, game officials, coaches, etc. assist with customer service?  With more participants each year, can we cut two positions from “Recreation”?  The only one left is “Administration”.  That’s where I would expect to see customer service folks funded who would have a duplicity with the move to City Hall.  Yet, that entire “Admin” budget is only $186,000.  You’ll pay your new Director most of that!!!  I can’t see cutting $105,000 our of a $186,000 Admin budget. 
Will we see the P&R budget be $105,000 less that the 2014 amount for the next 10 years?  And, where will those cuts come from?

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Posted: 05 August 2013 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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“Option 4 is the most expensive and the best value.”

Yes, I used to hear this from my wife.  You have to spend more to save more!

And if you just keep spending tons, sooner or later, you get it all BACK!

Let’s not pretend that any” decisions” were made on June 4th, either, shall we Wynn?

June 4th was simply the umpteenth running of commission’s favorite pony… you know, the one with the dog on it’s back.

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Posted: 05 August 2013 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Larry:  Here is the information that the staff provided.  The specific positions to be eliminated by attrition are not given.  You can say that we need the names to keep the City manager honest.  But this is part of the public record on how this thing is being funded.  That will ensure that two positions from parks and rec are eliminated (the Commission of course has oversight on this).  They (Parks and Recreation and City Manager)  are also on record as stating that the day care will close if it does not break even.  Will be watching that one.  Staff info:

Discussions internally with Parks and Recreation Administration, Customer Service and Finance Administration, and the City Manager’s Office have come to the conclusion that supporting the elimination of two positions by 2015 through attrition, in advance of the
first anticipated bond payment for this improvement in 2016. A large portion of the duties will be absorbed by existing staff members in Customer Service at City Hall, and a concerted effort for online registrations through WebTrac will encourage participants and
families in the community to do more on the web supported registration. There will also be use of the second floor customer service area by existing Parks and Recreation employees and Human Resources to provide additional support to the public and
customers.

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Posted: 05 August 2013 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Was there ever any attempt to “keep them honest” by requiring reports on the much-ballyhooed volunteer lifeguard duties at the pool in return for the Marlins taking over the pool for practice and meets?

No?

So…

Why would this be any different?

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Posted: 05 August 2013 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Thanks, Wynn.  Who was it said, “Trust, but verify!”  I guess I just don’t have a lot of faith in seeing the P&R budget reduced to offset the $105,000/year.  And, I honestly don’t feel there’s any motivation to continue the savings past “Joe and George retired and we didn’t replace them.”  There’s no auditing required to show the positions are not filled after being vacant for a few months. 

Funding something with concrete dollars… you can keep a close eye on where those dollars go.  Funding something with “efficiencies in staff reductions” is virtually impossible to audit.

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Posted: 06 August 2013 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Commissioners are expected to discuss the auditorium tonight during the pre-meeting briefing session at 5:30 p.m., which is open to the public.

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Posted: 06 August 2013 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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I am just wondering.
To consider the options and cost-benefit analyses, shouldn’t we ask what the goal is here? If it is to restore the Peace Auditorium, then the more expensive alternative makes sense.
If the goal is simply to provide space for Parks and Recs, then fix up the garage and leave them where they are…much cheaper.  Then deal with the auditorium as a separate issue at a later date.  It is not going to run away.
I don’t think the goal has been made clear, and this is confusing the issue.

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Posted: 07 August 2013 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Michael:  Excellent comment.  Two CIP plans were in place.  One was to get some decent offices for Parks and Recreation.  Every time and effort was made to fund this it was delayed.  It has been delayed for over 20 years.  The second CIP plan was to improve the auditorium.  At present the roof leaks a bit, some bats have moved in and it has no air conditioning.  Auditorium improvement was focused on the AC and roof.  The goal or plan was to accomplish both without requiring additional property taxes. 

In addition consolidation of customer service into one building was also desired.  So in addition to two CIP projects; personnel reorganization for better efficiency was also envisioned.  If the two CIP projects were approached as separate issues, then Parks and Recreation would get a new office, but customer service consolidation would not occur and the auditorium repairs would be delayed year after year as funding is the issue. 

That two CIP projects and the customer service consolidation are all accomplished by the current renovation proposal.  It provides best value.  It has many positive aspects and the one negative of stage removal (which is mitigated by mobile seating and mobile platforms for small performances, we will sacrifice the ability to present West Side Story).  We have all already argued about best value and the definition of that will always be based on how individuals approach the project and what their special interests and desires might be. 

At the coordination meeting last night the auditorium renovation was added to the next legislative meeting.  That was preferred over a discussion session as the commission needs to put this to rest with a vote.  In reality the project has already been approved in the form of plans.  But a second vote to authorize a building renovation contract will be required.  So it is possible that the drawings would be paid for and then the actual construction denied.  That would waste the cost of the drawings. My understanding is that the architectural drawings are on hold until the commission confirms that the plan is to actually complete the project.  I believe the discussion on the auditorium will be concluded and put to rest at the next legislative meeting. 

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Posted: 08 August 2013 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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The Mercury reporter and I both heard that the auditorium would be discussed during the Sept. 3 commission meeting and not the next legislative meeting.  The point of work sessions seems to be to examine information before making decisions, and since commissioners have not been presented with information about the memorial aspect of the auditorium except in the form of brief citizen comments, it would have been appropriate to have a work session.  I suppose a work session doesn’t seem necessary when one’s mind is firmly made up.

Also during the briefing session, a commissioner commented that the auditorium should have been discussed by the Historic Resources Board earlier in the process.  Mr. Butler disagreed because the building is not on a historic register, it’s not historic, and “there’s nothing historic about it.”  I would like to point out that buildings don’t suddenly become historic when they’re listed on the state or national registers.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Kathy, this issue is a political issue.  This is an issue that was to be political fodder for the next City election cycle.  “See what we did without raising taxes.”  To go back to the drawing board, now, could potentionally delay the project.  “Discussion” won’t change minds at this point in time.  There is zero reason for people to parade to the podium and plead their case with commissioners whose minds are already set in concrete.  The ONLY person whose vote counts, in this matter, is Commissioner Jankovich.  Butler and Matta will vote to move this thing forward.  McCulloh and Reddi will vote to table until further discussion can determine if this is the correct way to go.  No one is going to change any of those 4 votes.
Jankovich is a P&R fan.  In fact, he’s probably their biggest cheerleader amongst the Commission.  I feel certain that Rich will want to move this forward in order to get new ‘digs’ for P&R.  So, I believe this will move forward rather quickly.
With the issue being inserted in the upcoming legislative meeting agenda, there will be an opportunity for public comment.  If there is anything really new, it needs brought forward.  I fear a large number of folks speaking in defense of the auditorium won’t make a hill of beans difference.  Butler and Matta know those speaking won’t vote for them anyway.  McCulloh and Reddi will be giddy listening to their supporters.  Again, the swing vote will be Jankovich.  He’s the one who will make the ultimate decision as to whether to table or not.  And, if I were betting, I’d venture he will want to not delay for one day more the chance for P&R to have new offices.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Kathy,
I may be being dense here, but I did not understand your last comment.  It sounded as if you were making Wynn’s case for him, which I am certain is not true.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 12:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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A structure gets listed on a historic register because it’s considered historically significant.  I interpreted Butler’s comments as meaning a building can’t be considered historically significant unless it’s on a register.  With his line of thinking, there would be nothing on the historic registers because a building wouldn’t become historically significant until after it was listed, but it couldn’t get listed in the first place because it wouldn’t have historical significance because it wasn’t listed.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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“At the coordination meeting last night the auditorium renovation was added to the next legislative meeting.  That was preferred over a discussion session as the commission needs to put this to rest with a vote.  In reality the project has already been approved in the form of plans.  My understanding is that the architectural drawings are on hold until the commission confirms that the plan is to actually complete the project.  I believe the discussion on the auditorium will be concluded and put to rest at the next legislative meeting”

Pretty sure Wynn just said that the decision was made long ago and the next “discussion” will simply be the obligatory canine-equine performance.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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The coordination meetings are designed to schedule things for public discussion, determine the general agenda items and provide admin details on various meetings etc that commissioners might have participated in during the previous few weeks.  It was never intended to resolve the Auditorium issue during the coordination session, as we could not take a vote during that session.    Anything can be discussed at a work session or legislative session.  The only difference being that the commission cannot vote on anything if it is a work session.  So by having a discussion on the auditorium at a legislative session the commission can vote on the issue and put it to rest.  I think the commission has already received as much information as is available on the topic of the auditorium.  The intent is to have a legislative session vote to conclude the discussion one way or the other.  Keep in context the fact that this project has already been voted on and passed 4-1.  The fact that the auditorium issue has been put back on the legislative agenda to allow for a revote (third vote) is in fact extraordinary.  I do not have a problem with the HRB providing additional input on any topic they desire.  But based on the purpose of the board (my interpretation) the commission would only be obligated to consult on designated historic sites; it is all how you wish to interpret the intent.  As for making comments like minds have already been made up, that is true as evidenced by the 4-1 vote.  Minds were made up at that time.  We will see if any have changed by any new data that might be presented.
 
The HRB - Historic Resources Board- Purpose from City Web Site
The purpose of the Historic Resources Board is to encourage the preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of historic properties within the city through the designation of Historic Sites, Structures and Districts, as per Ordinance No. 6065. The Board also advises the City Commission on matters related to historic preservation and reviews projects that may affect designated historic properties. The board has an Action Plan which identifies and prioritizes activities with which the board is involved.

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Posted: 08 August 2013 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Yes, there’s an “and,” which means “reviews projects that may affect designated historic properties” is one of the duties performed by the board.  Other duties include, “Make comments to other city boards and commissions on any matter affecting significant historic structures, historic sites, and historic districts,” and “Periodically make recommendations to the city commission regarding actions it deems appropriate for the protection and continued use of significant historic structures, historic sites, and historic districts.”  But of course, you’ve already established that you don’t consider the auditorium to have any historical significance.

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