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Peace, brother… Peace….
Posted: 04 September 2013 05:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Wow!!  Perhaps some commissioners need to take a chill pill.  Lots of ‘interesting’ public input at last night’s meeting.  Good camera work.  The two commissioners not really wanting to hear from those in the audience carried on their own conversation after each citizen spoke.  Then, they had a chuckle session as the 10 minute break began.  Once public input was over, the tongue lashings began.  One commissioner chided anyone who might disparage the fine work done by City staff.  Wasn’t their fault significant facts and information about the Peace Memorial was left out of staff reprots re the Perps new digs!!???!!  Ya got some great ‘brownie points’ with City staff, Ms. Commissioner!!
Was also interesting when the commissioners began putting their own spin on the discussions brought forward by citizens.  Citizens protested, much to the chagrin of the Mayor.  “Ya said your piece.  We already know how we’re voting.  Shut up and let us move along.”
Once the vote was settled, then we had WWE style shouting from one commissioner to the others.  I understand you were disappointed in how the vote went.  I understand you didn’t want this to come back up because you had it in the bag.  I understand this has been an embarrassment to the “conservative” commissioners as they’ve kicked sand in the face of numerous verterans and verteran organizations.  The comments shouted at fellow commissioners were way out of line. 

I am a little worried about how the final motion was amended.  Seems the commission wants to review cost estimates on building new Perps offices at City Hall and renovating the Auditorium.  It sounded like those cost estimates would come from one source… a source already on board with those wanting to gut the facility.  Hopefully, cost estimates will come from an independent source.  However, if numbers can be skewed to build the case for demolition…..... All this angst is for naught.

Was a fun meeting to watch.  Lots of history.  If anyone is interested, it should be posted soon on the City’s website so you can view it yourself.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Let’s say I don’t want to watch the video.  Are you saying it was voted down?  I got the Ms., but why not put a name on the shouting one with the bunched-up pantaloons?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 07:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Commissioners were asked to vote on whether they wanted to continue with the previously approved plan to put Parks and Rec offices where the permanent seating is now in the auditorium and to tear out the stage and replace it with basketball courts, and the vote to continue failed by a 2-3 vote.  Another motion to the effect of looking at alternate options carried by a 3-2 vote.  Mr. Butler was harsh in his comments when the votes didn’t go the way he preferred.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No!  Not Wynn!  He was so… smug before… chortling about musicals and such…  So, does this mean a full-on assault by Wynn’s sponsor-PAC will be hitting the opinion pages of the Merc?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 08:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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“Paint Your Wagon” was mentioned last night.  I’m sure Mr. Kaw-Butler will soon have a blasting post about the folly of it all on the PAC’s web site.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Paint Your Wagon… chortle, chortle…

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Posted: 04 September 2013 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yes, Randall… Kathy has identified the Commissioner who was visibly upset once the Auditorium project was put on hold.  Commissioner Butler lashed out, verbally, at the three who voted againt he and Mayor Matta.
Commissioner Reddi was the one chastising those who might suggest City staff had not done their job in getting ALL the informaiton in front of the public.

As with so many issues, Commissioner Jankovich is and will be the swing vote.  Seems like it’s Matta/Butler vs. McCulloh/Reddi.  Jankovich holds the tie-breaker vote. 

One comment of the comments from Mayor Butler did catch my ear.  It went something like, “There may be 50 people here supporting renovation of the stage.  There are 50,000 other citizens who may not feel that way but could not be here tonight.”  Ummm…. Not ONE of those offering public input was in favor of tearing out the Auditorium.  If the other 50,000 citizens want it gutted, one or two couldn’t find time to support the Butler/Matta case???

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Posted: 04 September 2013 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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There is nothing more dangerous than a conservative scorned…I think that’s the way the saying goes.
It sounds to me like the gutting may not occur. However, possibly out of spite (God forbid), any attempts to renovate the auditorium, other than for Wynn’s purposes, will probably be adamantly opposed on the grounds that it is too expensive.
And so, the end result will be that the auditorium will sit there empty and generally un-used, save for the occasional bake sale.
I still suggest that it be turned over to MAC which would give them a more dignified place from which to operate. Put Perps and Recs in the grocery store…or tear the grocery store down and build a high rise.
Of course, MAC has no money and would need help bringing the auditorium up to snuff.  Good luck getting help from the city on that.
I do like it when commissioners lose their cool.  It shows us their true colors….the phony smiles disappear.  I especially love it when they yell at one another.
Wait a second…it is “Hell hath no fury like a conservative scorned.”

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Posted: 04 September 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Yep, every ace card will be played to make it appear the ONLY fiscally sound alternative is gutting the auditorium.  Anyone who questions the validity of numbers presented will be chastised.  Two of the three who voted against the Matta/Butler cartel, last night, won’t have the wherewithall to question the numbers presented.  The third is looking for some excuse to have basketball courts vs. auditorium so will go along with any numbers that show that to be the only practical alternative.

I still believe the auditorium will end up being gutted and replaced with offices and basketball courts.  Wynn has taken this as his own personal “war” and will pull out all stops to win.  I still cannot understand the background factors that have him so committed to this project.  One would think a rational fiscal conservative would welcome a means through which veterans could be appeased and costs could be contained.  I’m beginnning to belive this is all about cutting “gubmint jobs”.  Wynn has seen a way through which two… TWO positions can be cut.  Being able to brag about cutting government is well worth taking sides against the local veterans organizations.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 11:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Larry:  I am actually a member of some of the local veteran groups.  That veteran’s that spoke ‘last night were acting as individuals and stated that they were not representing the entire organization.  That is the correct position, cannot fault them for that.  You are correct that it was a bit tedious to listen to the same information over and over again.  No new data was presented and many falsehoods were repeated and repeated.  Two of the public speakers were not even residents of the city, one was from Topeka and the other out of state.  This was a clear case of a narrow special interest group driving the train.  I heard nothing to change my mind on the topic.  It is unfortunate that a years’ worth of work and some fee to the architect have been wasted because two commissioners changed their vote.  As you said it passed 4-1 on two occasions.  The waffle by the two is particularly disturbing and does indicate to me a lack of fortitude and judgment on their part.  This project was argued for nine years the first time. We have year one under our belt.  The end result is that we will study the project more, waste more time, and spend more money.  No matter how you slice it the cost will be the same, unless the special interest group raises more money than the five dollars presented last night.  Two groups lost last night, the parks and rec staff – as they will stay in the garage for at least another year, and those that pay taxes – because the city debt will go up.  All it takes is three votes and I have to hand it to the special interest group, the propaganda presented was excellent.  You are correct also on why did no one speak in favor of the project?  Many did by email, but none came to the meeting, most likely thinking that with two 4-1 votes that the commission would stay the course.  I guess we can wait a couple of week and we can go to round two three and .....?  Will it take nine years this time?  I hope your last prediction is correct and it will all come full circle.  If not then we still have 50 million or so in bonds we can issue before we reach the limit.  Might be enough to build a stage, Fieldhouse, more art work etc.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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So, to be clear, Wynn… you would have won if commissioners hadn’t changed their votes in the face of a united citizenry against?
And so, it’s their fault that not one individual came to speak FOR?  Because, who KNEW that actual citizens voices could influence something like this?

I’m with you, Wynn.  I’m shocked!

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Posted: 04 September 2013 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’m sure this has been proposed.. I mean, staff considered ALL options, didn’t it?...  but why wouldn’t you put the Parks department in the city building, right across the street from the main park, and move a department that’s bound to grow with the city… Code/Planning maybe… and put them downtown in a space with room for growth?  That way, Parks gets their air conditioning, and people with business to do with the city aren’t fighting over parking spaces with contractors, homeowners, architects, etc.

How about looking down the road a little further than the next election?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 12:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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One more question, Wynn.  When you said, ” This was a clear case of a narrow special interest group driving the train.”, were you talking about your PAC before last night’s vote, or some other one, after?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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“...were acting as individuals and stated that they were not representing the entire organization.”  Correct.  However, names of veterans organizations WERE included in the sponsors of the full-page ad in The Mercury.  That full-page ad was in favor of saving the auditorium.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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“No new data was presented…”  So, all the historical data pertinent to the Memorial Auditorium had been previously presented?  The fact that this was a Veteran’s Memorial had been discussed amongst the Commissioners during a previous legislative session?  Hmmm.. Must have been one of those meeting where the internet streaming wasn’t working.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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“No matter how you slice it the cost will be the same, unless the special interest group raises more money than the five dollars presented last night.”  Was any effort made to contact local veterans groups to see if they were interested in raising funds to renovate the Auditorium?  When were those contacts made?  Do you have those dates?  Oh… Were any local veterans organizations contacted about the Memorial Auditorium being wrecked out BEFORE previous commisson meetings where the subject was discussed?  Which organizations were asked, previously, about their take on removing the seats and stage?  Do you have the dates those communications were sent by City staff to local organizations?

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