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Peace, brother… Peace….
Posted: 04 September 2013 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Wynn “I heard nothing to change my mind on the topic” Butler.  Just curious Wynn…have you ever heard anything that would change your mind on any topic?

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Posted: 04 September 2013 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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2.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Have I ever heard anything to change my mind on a topic? Good question yes.  For example a few years ago prior to being on the commission I initially supported the free water for the schools and churches.  But then new hard data was provided that indicated that the land that the city was granted for water production was no longer being used for that purpose.  That bit of information was a game changer and I then supported what the commission ultimately did – cancel the free water to schools and churches.  The auditorium topic last night provided no new hard data, so I have not changed my mind on that topic.  Before voting I try to gather all the facts, evaluate courses of action, select a course of action and then stick to the decision unless some overwhelming evidence comes into play to change the selected course of action. 

Larry - the historical data on the auditorium was something that was researched outside of the commission meeting.  Clearly a detailed historical presentation like you saw from at least two people last night was not presented in an earlier legislative session, it was not a streaming issue.  But the data and material was available electronically and from various websites after the first vote, so my point is that I already had seen all of the information presented last night.  The first vote by the way included a requirement for legal review.  You are correct that the commission did not go out and canvas organizations to see if anyone had a passion for the stage.  Interest in the stage was not apparent as from 1955 on nobody ask the commission to fix it renovate or do anything to it.  So basically nobody cared a bit about the stage until a plan was kicked around for renovation.  In fact apathy was so high that nobody made any statement about the stage until after the second vote and after money was spent.  Even though all of these votes were conducted in public meetings, published on the web and not behind some secret closed doors.  I still believe that only a small group of folks are pushing to keep the stage and that their narrow special interest is not beneficial to the city as a whole.  Their propaganda efforts were excellent – stickers with save the World War II Memorial, stop the tear down of the memorial slogans.  I call these efforts propaganda because the building plaque does not indicate that it is a WWII memorial.  Second the building was not being torn down and/or the entire building was not being turned into office space.  The fact is the button should have said save the stage in the memorial auditorium and keep the parks and recreation staff in the garage.  The priority is an underutilized stage, build it and they will come.  That is the real heart of the issue.  Some stated that fact – the heart of the memorial is the stage.  I think it, the heart, needs a transplant

Should some folks have shown up at the meeting to speak in favor of the stage?  They had that option, though support for the project was conveyed to the commission by email. Maybe the result will cause more people to show up in the future, as the waffle factor was clearly in evidence.  I think a larger majority of the city does not care one way or the other, but might get involved (too late in the process) when they get the final bill for this project.  The loser in this one was the Parks and Recreation Staff and those that will pay the increased city debt.

The vote last night delayed any progress for maybe a year.  After that time frame we might get back to the original plan, build a bigger more expensive city hall or maybe we build two buildings at a higher cost.  We might even consider a ballot referendum.  So after a year or two the Parks and Recreation office will finally get decent digs, but the taxpayer will still be in the losing column. 

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Posted: 04 September 2013 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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So, was any consideration given to sending a larger department to bigger digs and moving Parks into City Hall without a major addition to the structure?

I’m watching the video, on the 4th speaker (commander of the Manhattan VFW, “speaking at the request of many WWII veterans”) , and they’ve all been moving, practical, and local, Wynn.  I can see why commissioners listened.  It’s pretty clear why you lost.

Wynn, YOU’RE the arbiter on “what is a fiscal conservative”?  The response “3.8 million dollars is conservative”?  Wynn, “Yes, you all want to talk about the money.  This isn’t about the cost”!

You can’t make this stuff up!

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Not to my knowledge.  It would be worth looking at but would need to know what larger digs are available and what would be the impact of moving a department.  I think the City Manager wants them all in the same place, at least that is the goal.  I think moving a department to another location would still cost a few dollars as I do not believe the city has any space that is ready for use.  One idea would be to remake the Commission room for Parks and Recreation and move the Commission Meetings back to the Main Fire station.  Or move the Commission meeting room into the old parks and recreation office.  Specific details might make this idea viable.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Maybe they should have the commission meetings AT THE AUDITORIUM!  I’d bet renovation money would flow and air conditioning would be installed within a month. 

So, the city manager wants them all together?  Why?  Did anyone ask why?  3.8 million dollars, and no one asks why it’s necessary to “have them all together”? 

“Because I want it” is NOT an answer to a 3.8 million dollar question.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 07:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Why is it so important to the the Parks & Rec staff located in City Hall, but it’s not important to have the zoo staff, the cemetery staff, or the Flint Hills Discovery Center staff there?  The staff from those departments seem to be able to function just fine without being under the same roof as the city manager.  In the case of the zoo and Discovery Center, they have registrations to process and events to manage.  When I served on the Parks & Rec board and we talked about the need for new offices for the Parks & Rec Dept. the discussion always focused on a new facility in the existing location.  Never once did I hear any comments about the need to move the staff to City Hall.

As far as the need for additional basketball courts, how ‘bout the City and USD #383 partner and add the second gym to each of the middle schools? Both middle schools were designed to have two gyms, but the second gyms were eliminated to reduce costs to ensure passage of the bond election.  It’s certainly an option that should be considered (plus it would give elected officials something to talk about at the next Intergovernmental meeting).

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Posted: 04 September 2013 07:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Sorry, but I am having some trouble worrying about Parks and Rec, and their accommodations. For some reason, I just lack empathy.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Wynn Butler - 04 September 2013 11:42 AM

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.

That’s a terrible thing to say about your fellow commissioners, Wynn.  It sounds to me like they got more comprehensive info about the plan and listened to their own constituents, and from there made an informed decision. That’s what they are elected to do, Wynn. Good grief.

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Posted: 04 September 2013 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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They listened to the few not the many.  They did not protect the tax payer and they sold out the City Staff.  The parks and rec folks do the most for the city and the commissioners tossed them under the bus.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 02:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Where were those “many,” Wynn? They certainly didn’t show up to the meeting. Maybe they were in those emails you alluded to. Were all those emails read into the record, or recorded somehow, and weighed against the comments made at the public hearing?

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Bullshit, Wynn.  They listened to the citizens, and, if a less expensive alternative is adopted (which, let’s face it, won’t be tough), they represented their constituents.  I don’t get all this cowtowing to city staff.  Who the hell is running this show?  If you’re really so lazy that you can’t come up with some alternatives using your own COMMON SENSE, then you have no business being in that chair.  That goes for every one of you who tosses stuff at “city staff” and says “bring me something”.  Imperious… and lazy.

“Propaganda Wins”?  Or “Wynn’s Propaganda”?  You’re twisting off, Wynn.  You represent a PAC, yet RAIL about advocacy.  You berate your fellow commissioners when you get outvoted.  You post a loser’s rant on your PAC site that would make a 3-year-old proud. 

I’ll say it again, because, apparently, it needs repeated.  Manhattan is too big to be run by small people.  Has been for some time.

 

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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“The parks and rec folks do the most for the city and the commissioners tossed them under the bus.”  Boy, I’m sure this makes those who work hard in the Street Department, Water & Sewer Department, Engineering, Code Enforcement, etc. all feel really appreciated.  I guess “prioritizing” social service organizations is about the same as “prioritizing” city departments.  When your street is knee deep in snow, this winter, hopefully the Street Department will just tell you to call the Parks & Rec since they “do the most for the City”!!!!!

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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“They did not protect the tax payer and they sold out the City Staff.”  We don’t know, yet, whether the vote “protected the taxpayer” or not.  Seeking other alternatives may well find a less expensive solution. 

“... sold out City Staff”???  So, every recommendation of City Staff should be treated as gospel??  I see.  A 450,000 walk bridge to nowhere was an excellent use of City funds… because, to not fund it would have “sold out City Staff”?  Wait a minute.  Wasn’t the Rental Inspection Program recommended by City Staff?  Weren’t employees hired to fill those positions and, then, had to be either cut loose or relocated within the department when you shut the RIP down?  I guess I don’t see where City Staff was “sold out”.  A decision was made based upon new data and citizen input.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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“Why is it so important to the the Parks & Rec staff located in City Hall, but it’s not important to have the zoo staff, the cemetery staff, or the Flint Hills Discovery Center staff there?”  Debbie, I think we both know the answer to this.  Wynn has promised to “cut gubmint”.  Moving the P&R to City Hall cuts staff.  That’s the goal.  That’s the big reason for the move of P&R to City Hall.

Weed Museum??  Zoo??  Pretty sacred cows.  No one will touch the Weed Museum with a 10 FT pole.  However, that brings up an interesting point.  Isn’t there one complete floor of the DC that is unused?  Isn’t there some space available in the DC that could be utilized as P&R offices?  We’ve been promised that the taxpayers won’t have to subsidize the DC.  If there could be some consolidation of staff between the DC and P&R, wouldn’t that serve the same purpose as the move to City Hall?

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