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“Military friendly”????
Posted: 04 September 2013 01:22 PM   [ Ignore ]
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One of the speakers at last night’s City Commission meeting suggested that Manhattan was not known to be “military friendly”.  He mentioned the numerous parks in Junction City dedicated to those who had fought in various wars.  Manhattan has none. 
In the 60’s and 70’s, Manhattan was the “university town”.  Junction City was the “military town”.  I don’t remember much in the way of city wide military discounts in Manhattan until after 9-11.  I do remember the bus service that used to run from Ft. Riley to the 4th & Colorado bus station.  That service was abandoned years ago.
Manhattan’s City Commission could springboard off the current hype to renovate the Veterans Memorial Auditorium.  We could do something special and make it a memorial the entire community could be proud of.  Instead, commissioners are heck bent on destroying the Auditorium, leaving a couple of small plaques as Manhattan’s “salute to our soldiers”.  Maybe that’s enough.
During last night’s commission meeting, we found that 101 young men from Manhattan gave their lives in WWII.  How many of our citizens gave all in the Korean Conflict or VietNam or Iraq or Afghanistan??  Where is the local memorial to those soldiers?
How many sons and daughters of Manhattan citizens are now serving in our armed forces?  Returning home between deployments, where in this community do we show appreciation for their service?  10% off on a Smoothie??  $100 off on a car we’ll charge 25% interest to finance? We rent houses and apartments to them.  Our local Chamber hosts a “Hail and Farewell” banquest for officers. 
The commissioner who is most vocally in favor of wrecking out the Memorial Auditorium keeps telling all of his military service.  I am appreciative of ALL who have served… and are serving… our Country, including this commissioner.  Should being a verteran be authority enough to destroy the Auditorium?  Perhaps.

Okay… Is Manhattan “military friendly”??  What do you think?

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Posted: 05 September 2013 08:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Larry,
We do have proclamations and renewals of cooperation which are pretty much just gas.
Manhattan, at least since I have been around has never been “military friendly”. Perhaps “military tolerant” because they do bring in some bucks.
The patriotic super-fervor after 911 didn’t change anything except the amount of gas expended.  It did become more fashionable to like the military after that, but it didn’t really change attitudes.
When I first got here, military people were charged cover charges at most bars.  Why? Because they caused trouble.  I am not sure that has changed much…except now, there is no cover charge.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I agree with Michael - Military Tolerant is a good term.  Being a veteran does not give me the authority to destroy the stage (the memorial is not being destroyed).  Just being a veteran also does not give you the high ground to insist that the stage be saved.  That is why I mentioned my time in the Army, simply to put it into perspective.  The Veteran angle was being exploited as an excuse to save the stage and the organizers may have thought it would be a position that would not be challenged.  The issue was never about the veterans, but always about the stage.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Or, maybe, Wynn, veterans of WWII consider the STAGE AND USAGE to be an integral part of the memorial, and see you as pissing on it with your offices, and vehicles thereof….  Just a thought…

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Posted: 06 September 2013 02:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Larry Williams - 04 September 2013 01:22 PM

I don’t remember much in the way of city wide military discounts in Manhattan until after 9-11.

Oh, I do, definitely. It started with the first Gulf War, IIRC. When I was in high school in the late 1980s, military was definitely looked down on in general, but that hasn’t been the case for 20-odd years in my experience. Once moving here in the 1990s, I remember things like having significant problems with businesses (one bank, one grocery store, two landlords) because I wasn’t military, all of them saying in so many words that they didn’t want young customers unless they were military. In the school district, the para-educator jobs were unofficially held for spouses of K-State and military employees, and I was asked more than once to step down so some major’s wife could have the job instead.

Since I’ve never been military I can’t speak to problems they encounter, though I’m positive they deal with jerks in Manhattan. Businesses around here tend to get touchy about groups they see as a monolith; students are all liberal troublemakers, military are violent, professors are snotty and impossible, etc. It’s not true, but in the service industry, grudges are held and people love their stereotypes.

But overall, yes, I think Manhattan is pretty military friendly.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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WYNN- Why not just tear down the seating, build a second gym floor and let the people who care about the Stage raise money like they did for the depot and renovate it?

The temporary bleachers can be stored under the stage and the money will be better spent on building a new structure in City park.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Josh
I don’t agree with that solution but it is a reasonable suggestion. I don’t care for it because it removes the classiness of the permanent seating. You see, I still believe that, with renovation, this could be a viable theatre, not just another basketball court.
Now, here’s where I agree with you…in part. Build the cheaper option for Parks and Rec. Then start a fund-raising campaign a la the Depot. If all these people are so interested in the auditorium, then they should be more than willing to start fund-raising for its preservation.  I am sure even Wynn would support that. Get the city out of it.  I don’t think we are looking at millions to renovate this building.  Figures get skewed when there is an agenda.  I suspect that the major item is the air conditioning. An option, temporarily, would be to only schedule programs in there during the cooler months until the place starts bringing in money to help finance the AC.
These cooler months coincide with the school year.  I could see high school band concerts, musical concerts from KSU, plays, and other events taking place.
If there is no interest, and/or no profit, then the building’s usage should be revisited.
If interest can be generated, it can be done. If not, it shouldn’t be done
PS….I think we are on the wrong thread, although the two are getting blurred.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 09:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Michael- I do not see a need for the Theater but it is because I would not go to one. KSU has their theater, MHS has their theater, Manhattan Local Plays are put on at the Arts Center etc…. I did go to the Auditorium when MacBeth was held.

If SOS wants to get bands in Manhattan then why dont they use the Wareham? I have heard that they are getting rid of the wedding business and becoming a venue only site. That comes from a credible source.

I envision the Wareham becoming like the Colombian theater without the Million Dollar paintings. With yet a new owner it will move that way until there is another owner.

I just think its interesting that all of a sudden a small group of people are fighting for the existence of a gym that they never cared about before. If they had then it would not be in ruin and more then 13 people in the community would know that it was a WWII memorial or War memorial.

By adding the second gym it would alleviate a lot of stress for teams in the area. YES there are a lot of gyms but ALL of them are booked during basketball season because it is also volleyball season and indoor soccer season and Fall Baseball Season and wrestling season.

When I coached youth basketball we were given one hour practice slots twice a week. Try teaching 3rd graders the game of basketball in that amount of time.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Josh,
Because people already have their theatres doesn’t mean they might not want to use a different one on occasion.  I can see certain groups using the auditorium to help with its renovation even though they have their own facilities. It would be a test of commitment from the community and viability.
My suggestion, like yours, is simply another alternative to explore. If it is done on a private level, I see no harm in trying.  Doesn’t cost the taxpayer anything.  If MHS would do one musical in there and maybe a band or choir concert, you know they will be well-attended and could be labeled as fund-raisers.  Parents and patrons don’t care what you charge so you could get more for a ticket to be split, or if MHS and KSU and other groups are inclined towards civic commitment, you could raise some serious money in a short time.
Now, if no one wants to make that commitment, then sobeit.
I agree that people should put their money/efforts where their mouths are. I see no problems in trying to make it viable.  If it isn’t, then, it isn’t and it can remain a dead building or a bunch of basketball courts.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Stages are used for lots of things. I still think the city commission should meet on that stage.  Lose the silly dictatorial arc/podium.  It ain’t the Supreme Court we’re talking about, no matter HOW much they act like prima donnas.

IF city commission meetings took place in that auditorium, I guarantee you that AC would be installed YESTERDAY, and electrical/lighting/etc. would be right behind.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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WYNN-

Run with Randys idea. Meet at the auditorium and gut the current meeting hall and renovate for parks and rec. No waisted space.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 04:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Actually, that was Wynn’s proposal, minus the Memorial Auditorium becoming the City Commission meeting hall.  He liked the idea of moving, until he realized that he’d have to propose fixing up the auditorium without building gubmint office space.  It’s true, Josh.  What good is that cavernous hall where the CC holds court?  How many hours does it see use?  3-4 hours every couple of weeks? 

It’s truly a funny kind of contortion you have to do these days to puff yourself up and berate fellow commissioners for not being “fiscal conservatives”.  Fiscal conservatives, it seems, aren’t really fiscally conservative.  They’re happy to chose the most expensive options, and try to bully everyone into voting for them.  They’re REALLY happy to give millions to the Republican Chamber of Commerce to pass out among the good ol boys. They’re more than happy to improve office spaces for their underlings.  They’re just anti-spending on anything that improves the quality of life for the general public… you know, the taxpayers.

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Posted: 09 September 2013 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I would have been happy to see the Commission continue to meet in the Fire Station.  At the fire station the folks were able to sit above the commission and look down on the group.  A much more fitting set up.  The current meeting room is however used extensively by the various city boards, the RCPD Law Board and the MPO. It is many time tough to find a vacant time frame to schedule a meeting.

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Posted: 09 September 2013 06:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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It is time to evaluate where we actually are in regards to the Parks and Recreation Offices and the Auditorium.  The vote last Tuesday essentially set back all progress to point zero.  We are precisely at the same point we were 18 months ago.  Time and money has been spent will no gain.  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/determiined 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. 

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 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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The fact that the commission hall is used by other entities in no way refutes the fact that it could be used for your P&R offices, for a FRACTION of what you’re wanting to spend, and the Memorial Auditorium could be fixed up… ALSO FOR A FRACTION… and used for these meetings of which you speak.


No?

If the place needs a new roof, why hasn’t one been installed?  Do you know NOTHING about structures and the importance of a decent roof?

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Posted: 10 September 2013 05:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Randall… using the Commission chambers for P&R offices and moving the Commisson, etc. to the Auditorum is NOT practical.  Let’s look at why…

1.  We have some extremely important people who use the Commission Chamber.  Commissioners… City Manager…. DEPUTY City Manager… How can we expect these folks to look nearly as important on Tuesday evenings sitting behind temporary dais with “portable” nameplates??  We cannot relegate our people of importance to a stage in an auditorium.
2.  If this were to happen… The “librals” win.  Can’t have that happen.

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