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Peace, brother… Peace….
Posted: 05 September 2013 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Careful, Larry.  You’re throwing city staff under the bus!  Stop proposing solutions that would cost a fraction of staff recommendations!  You’ll hurt some feelings!

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Posted: 05 September 2013 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Stacia:  You are correct they did not show up at the meeting.  Which is fine with me as they already provide their input by email.  I did not need them to show up.  Maybe Rich and Usha did.  Karen also did not need them to show as she stuck with her first two votes.  I also got emails that were against the project.  I did not read any of them into the record because the other commissioners already had them and it just would have dragged the meeting out for another hour or so, changing nothing.
The Parks and Recreation staff manage the lion’s share of city assets.  They deserve some consideration.  For sure they are of more value than the stage.  They were totally discounted by the folks that spoke.  They lacked a holistic view of the project.
Many of you keep posting the same erroneous cost data, claiming a cheaper option is possible.  Not the case if you do both projects.  But true if we just take the money and build a new P&R office in City Park. That then leaves the stage to continue to deteriorate until it is equal to the Youth Cabin.  I think Bruce Snead and the Discovery Center Foundation are using the offices you reference in the Discovery Center.  If you look at those they would not be adequate for the task.  I did suggest using the Community Building for Parks and Recreation – but again that was not considered to be adequate.
The Discover Center is not my favorite project.  But it is not currently a property tax burden because it is funded by the CVB.  I hope it stays that way as the way it is now that is the best solution.  Cannot turnit into a micro-brewery.  The zoo also is another one of those things that is not going to be closed.  But fortunately we have the FOSZ that help keep things more fiscally solid.  The day care center is another issue,  I voted to do away with that one, but the Commission made that a done deal.  The extra rental inspection guys have gone away. 
The devil is always in the details, and the details are not all ways evident.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 10:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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myopic.  Day 2 of blame blather.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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“The Parks and Recreation staff manage the lion’s share of city assets.  They deserve some consideration.  For sure they are of more value than the stage.  They were totally discounted by the folks that spoke.”

Do you have dollar amounts showing the City assets managed by P&R are the “lion’s share” compared to the City streets or City water and sewer lines and treatment facilities?  I would think it would cost considerably more to replace all our streets than to replace pools and parks.  But, if I’m wrong, show me the numbers.
“Lion’s share”????  Yep… Them thar P&R people are at least a few concession stand tills more valuable than any other City Departments.  Let’s see.  Shut off tap water and shut down the sewer system.  Ummm…. Guess, if it came to it, I’d rather have water to drink than a park to play in.  Of course, the people in Timber Creek and other surrounding communities who use our parks probably wouldn’t care if every street in Manhattan were full of chuckholes… except those street leading to the City pools.  I really have difficulty with the comments that hold the P&R Department in a significantly more sacred state than other departments.  I’d like to see our elected officials treat ALL departments as necessary and beneficial.  If a department is not necessary and beneficial, it should be “Memorialized”... gutted.

I guess I must have been listening to a completely different set of presenters than you were Tuesday evening.  “Totally discounted”???  I know I heard a number of the presenters suggest P&R needed new offices and those offices should be constructed… just not where it would require wrecking out of the Auditorium.

It is pretty evident that your mind is made up.  We can type arguments for the next month and it won’t change a thing.  What has changed is that there will be much more public scrutiny of any further actions taken re the P&R office project.  And… unless an alternative project would include renovation of the Memorial Auditorium, it’ll be like pulling teeth to ever get two current commissioners to spend one dime on this “red headed stepchild”.

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Posted: 09 September 2013 07:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Larry;  The streets for sure would add up to more dollar value than maybe our parks.  The point is that Parks and Recreation not only maintains a vast system of parks, cuts grass, fixes fountains, pools, but also runs a gigantic system of programs from arts to sports. 

You are correct on the point of is my mind made up on the topic.  Yes, I voted for it twice before Tuesday.  If you count Tuesday that would make it three times.  I have already explained the logic.

What I plan on attempting at this point is to go for a ballot option. We define the scope of the project.  The scope was the real root of the commotion over the project.  The commission essentially hit the reset button last week and brought the whole project back to square one. 

It is time to evaluate where we actually are in regards to the Parks and Recreation Offices and the Auditorium.  What we have is an auditorium/gym that does not have AC that has a damaged roof and has a deteriorating stage/fixed seating area.  We also have a Parks and Recreation Staff that is located in a 20 year old plus garage, a totally substandard working environment.

The scope of any project must be evaluated/determined and appropriate cost estimates applied.  What items should or should not be considered under the scope of work?  Here is a possible list:

1.  New Parks and Recreation Offices.
2.  Offices for P&R to be collocated with City Hall.
3.  AC for the Current Auditorium/Gym.
4.  Repair of the roof for the Auditorium/Gym.
5. Addition of a Basketball Court.
6. Repair/Renovation of the Stage.
7. Repair/Renovation of the fixed seating area.
8. Maintaining the current building footprint.
9. Not maintain the current building footprint.
10. Not collocating P&R with City Hall
11.      Retain the memorial plaque and rededicate building at end of project.

Any cost estimates would have to be based on each of the eleven items listed above.  The proposal that was stopped last Tuesday was based on the cost of doing item 1, 2, 3, 4 and 11.  The cost for item 6 and 7 has not been calculated.  Renovation cost for the stage and seating may be well in excess of six figures.

Item nine concerns moving walls and using green space to make City Hall bigger, going outside the foot print will be expensive.

Item two and ten are related.  Elimination of two Parks and Recreation positions is envisioned under item two. The cost savings over ten years helps to fund the building.  If option ten is used the cost is higher.

We can take the criterion or scope – 10 items and come up with a few options.

A.  Build it all.  Everything is done except item 8 – the footprint is not maintained.  This will be the most costly option.  But it takes care of everyone.  Provided the people are willing to fund 4 to 6 million in bonds to pay for it.
B. Renovate Parks and Recreation at its current location and renovate the Stage and Fixed Seating.  This would be of medium cost 1-2 million in bonding would be required.  No savings from consolidation of customer service.
C. Collocate Parks and Recreation in City Hall, remove stage and seating and add a basketball court.  This would be the least expensive – would not require a bond.
D. Do nothing. 

(of course more options can be devised like nothing for Parks and Recreation and everything for the stage)

What I would like to do is simply put these options on the Ballot for November 2014.  Each option would have a cost associated in terms of a city bond issue.  A = big bond, B= smaller bond, C= no bond, but expenditure of current funds and D= no cost, but eventual deterioration of both the old Parks and Rec office and the stage/seating.

Let the people vote on it.  It makes sense; the determination to build the building was done by popular vote.  So why not resolve the disagreement on what should be done the same way?

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Posted: 09 September 2013 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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So, I guess, the question that no one has asked is, if P&R is engaged in so many of these outdoors projects, why do they need 3.5 million in new office space.. AND..


why the myopic focus on turning a Memorial Auditorium into new office space?  What is so terrible about spending money on much needed, long-overdue repairs and updates to a city-owned structure?

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Posted: 10 September 2013 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Wynn, it makes no sense… IMHO… to put forth a ballot referendum that gives the voter 5 to 10 choices.  I believe that if this does make it to a ballot, the City Commission MUST have it nailed down to no more than two options.  What it boils down to is… Is the added cost (whatever that may be) to keep and renovate the Memorial Auditorium okay with the voters?  Or, is the Memorial Auditorium wrecked out and replaced by offices and a basketball court to save those dollars? 

Doesn’t it take a super majority of the Commission to call for a ballot initiative?  Wouldn’t that take 4 commissioners wanting to abdicate their responsibility as elected representatives to make it happen?  If a fairly straight-forward issue of whether or not to fund a project must go to the voters, why were you so much against taking other “hot” issues to those same voters?  You were against taking the SOS and the LBGT questions to the voters.  Now, the “right” thing to do is have the voters decide the issue of offices for a department within the City staff?

Why is this such a cumbersome problem.  Maybe I’m being entirely too simplistic.  You get two or three independent cost estimates for those “menu” items.  Due to the involvement in the project, to date, of your current consultant he should not be one of those providing the cost estimates.  (That is not meant in any way as a negative comment towards the architect.  He’s done everything asked of him by City staff.  However, this is now “muddied up” due to the fact that he has significant time and labor invested in the project put on hold.  To keep any of the public from ‘crying foul’, the cost estimates need to be generated by another source.)  Jankovich and Reddi both seemed like their votes were simply a “tableing” of the project until additonal cost data could be brought forth.  Get the estimates.  Reinitiate the discussion.  Vote.  Move forward.

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Posted: 10 September 2013 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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I want to cast my vote for “D”....do nothing.  It is always a nicer world when politicians do nothing. When they start doing things is when we all get into trouble.

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Posted: 10 September 2013 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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Larry:  I am not sure that I am against putting the LGBT thing on the Ballot.  That would be a good one for April 2015.  We could add Rental Inspection, ATA and a question about should we fund social services.  We could end the discussion on those things for the next ten years or so.  The SOS petition would have forced a special election and I did not care for the cost of that, plus as the legal action determined the topic as defined by the petition did not meet the standard for a ballot initiative.  If SOS were put on the ballot it would have to pass legal review to ensure that the resulting voted would not be tied up in court.  Nailing down the legal end is important because if the SOS item were to pass or fail the end result would or will be challenged by somebody in court.  In fact the legislative cycle can be flow charted as Elect Representative, Representative votes for or against a project, vote is challenged in court, judge decides or determines the outcome.   

Putting ballot items on normally scheduled elections is fine.  On the auditorium, less options would be better, I agree.  But I do not think it is possible to have only two choices.  It will take 3 or 4.  Back in the 50s they had a long list of choices on possible locations for city hall.  Based on recent discussions everyone is an expert on design, cost, and operation of Parks and Recreation.  The public speakers know much more than the City Staff or the Commission, so the vote needs to be taken in November.

You are correct that the vote Tuesday tabled the Park & Rec/Auditorium project.  It is dead for at least a year.  I agree that it is/was simple.  Weigh the options, cost and vote.  We did that 4-1, problem solved, at least for a few weeks.  .  Option A – Big Bond, Option B Medium Bond, Option C no bond.  But now a 3-2 vote has negated the simple process.  The best way to put it to rest is to add it to the ballot. That will close the book on it.  At present the Commission is in Michaels camp as the vote Tuesday was closest to the do nothing D option.  By the way the City Debt reached $278 million in August. 

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Posted: 10 September 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Actually, Wynn, having been continually renovating and maintaining properties in Manhattan (and on both coasts) since 1978, I DO know more than city staff. The ignorance of the commission about such things is obvious in their clueless embrace of multi-million dollar options without curiosity or common sense

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