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So, the Commissioners are going “to rule” on the fate of the Memorial Stage?
Posted: 14 October 2013 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Any wagers? 

Did Wynn stop pouting?  Or just on this forum?
Has all the crap about who is a “true conservative” been shoveled on the quivering commissioners by the righteous Reverend Butler?

Wynn sure didn’t want to take me up on my offer to discuss less expensive alternatives.  Wouldn’t that have been the “conservative” thing to do?

I’m going to wager ... Equine & Canine Production II!  “This Time, It’s Different!”  We wouldn’t DREAM of dissing City Staff!  City Manager wants all his chicks close by!  How can you POSSIBLY ask PARKS people to work OUTSIDE?

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Posted: 15 October 2013 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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No alternatives, other than adding on to City Hall, will be considered.  By design, City Staff will only offer the highest cost option… renovation of the Memorial Auditorium and adding on to City Hall for the P&R offices.  Those costs will be viewed as prohibitive and the Commission will move forward with demolition of the stage.  After all, to save the auditorium is merely a “liberal initiative” and must be crushed.  Don’t want them thar librals gettin’ all uppity, thinkin’ they can tell us conservative how where to spend our dollars. 
After the Commission votes 3:2 to move forward with the auditorium demolition, the next agenda item will be refreshing.  The Commission will drool and spend much time handing out accolades to the P&R because they ONLY lost $300,000 in operating the swimming pools this past year.  (New offices at City Hall would provide a much more efficient operation of the swimming pools!)  There will still be no effort to have the Marlins swim team pay their own way.  The pools are a “sacred cow” and aren’t to be messed with.
Part of that discussion will be about sales tax dolalrs.  Sales tax revenues have exceeded expectations.  Therefore, we have a surplus in what was supposed to go to pay for the pools and the zoo expansions/modifications.  The Commission will decide whether to use these surplus funds to pay down the pool/zoo debt or to use the funds for more “toys” at the pools.  After all, with the pools only losing $300,000/year why wouldn’t we spend more money on them?
What ever happened to the thought process of having the pools pay their own way?  Nope!  Just think about how many “walk bridges to nowhere” we could build with $300,000/year.  Wonder how much the taxpayer would have to shell out for new P&R offices if they didn’t lose $300,000 year on pools.

We’ll wake up Wednesday morning and find the wrecking ball will continue to swing as it demolishes the Memorial Auditorium… because it’s far too expensive to save.  We’ll also wake to a Commission and City staff dancing in the street, celebrating the great job P&R did by only giving away $300,000 in tax dollars to operate swimming pools.  But, then, swimming pools aren’t “one a them thar libral thingys”.

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Posted: 15 October 2013 07:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In other words, you’re also wagering on the Equine % Canine Production II.

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Posted: 15 October 2013 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I don’t think I’m following all of the content in the article in Monday’s Mercury about the auditorium.  The article’s headline says “City to rule on stage,” but the agenda item seems to be about amending the contract with the architect, which doesn’t seem to me to be a case of “city to rule on stage.”  I realize that the person who wrote the headline is not necessarily the same person who wrote the article, and the headline writer may not have read the article that closely.  I also don’t understand the scenario in the article that says, “If the amendment fails, the city will go ahead with the previously approved design and cost, which calls for removing the stage and adding basketball courts.”  Huh?  How does that happen?

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Posted: 15 October 2013 02:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Kathy, this is a simple “up or down” vote.  The future of the Memorial Auditorium stage all depends on Rich Jankovich.  Amazing how much power over history one commissioner holds.  No other options will be allowed to be discussed other than turning this into a huge, expensive project by renovating the auditorium and adding on to City Hall for the P&R offices.  At least that’s the way Commissioners Matta and Butler hope it goes.  Given no other option to save the auditorium, Commissioner McCulloh or Reddi will be forced to make the motion to amend the project scope.  Two will vote for it… Two will vote against it.  If the dollars are substantially out of proportion, Commisisoner Jankovich will vote with Matta and Butler and the auditorium is history. 

The sudden silence on this matter is deafening.  I respect Commissioner Jankovich’s integrity.  Don’t think it’s fair to him to have this dumped in his lap, but that’s what he bargained for when he ran for the commission seat he holds.  It just smells bad.  I thought the Memorial Auditorium demolition was being tabled until other options could be considered.  Now, it appears the Mayor and City staff have contrived a means through which a vote for or against this “amendment” seals the deal for the structure.  Nothing but a “bait and switch”.

The honorable thing for this Commission to do would be to refuse to bring this amendment to a vote.  Three commissioners would insist on a full analysis of other available options for P&R offices.  Won’t happen.  This has become a political “hot potato”.  It’s become a conservative vs. liberal agenda issue.  Why?  It still befuddles me!!!  Suddenly, any attempt to find other options for P&R is immediately tagged “libersal hogwash” and no one wants to discuss it.

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Posted: 15 October 2013 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Gee.  Wynn was saying how NOTHING would be done for two years.

He must surely have a friend or relative who stands to make some real cash from this deal.  Why else the long silence and lack of discussion?

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Posted: 16 October 2013 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Quite an interesting discussion, last night.  Wynn is adamant he does NOT want the stage to remain.  Commissioner McCulloh is just as set that she DOES want it left intact.  The rest seems to be a mixed bag.  Jankovich could care less about the stage.  He just wants the P&R to have new, fancy digs.  If that means the stage goes, so be it.  Reddi doesn’t care what gets built or where, just as long as the total project budget does not exceed $2.95 million. 
So, they are now spending another $40,000 to find out what some different options would cost.  There is no desire on the part of any Commissioner to look at locations other than City Hall for P&R.  One of the options put forward last night was removing the auditorium seating and replacing it with P&R offices.  Wynn suggested he would go for leaving the stage, temporarily, if the seating went to make office space.  Then, if the stage is not utilized in the near future, it would be wrecked out and replaced with another basketball court.  Ummm… So, if you take out the seating for the stage and replace that seating with office space, just how will folks attend/view any performance/recital/etc.??  With no seating, no lighting system, no repair… that is a certain means of seeing the stage quickly deemed “unused and non-supportable”. 
I was a little disappointed in Jankovich last night.  He seemed to be saying the stage needed to go since there was no private fundraising efforts to assist with required repairs/modifications.  As a couple of those speaking during public comments suggested, until some costs are established and some guarantee in place the auditorium will even remain how can you raise funds? 

After last night, I firmly believe the stage is history.  The “sacred cow” is getting P&R into new offices… no matter what gets destroyed to accomplish that task.

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Posted: 16 October 2013 06:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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So, it appears Wynn only stopped whining on this forum.  The whining continued for the last couple of months in the good-ol-boy meetings.

Surprise, surprise, surprise!

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Posted: 16 October 2013 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Larry Williams - 16 October 2013 05:59 AM

So, they are now spending another $40,000 to find out what some different options would cost.

Oh, for the love of…

How much are they going to spend to justify spending a large chunk of change to destroy something that doesn’t need to be destroyed?

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Posted: 16 October 2013 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Like I said earlier, Stacia, this has become a conservative vs. liberal issue.  So, just as in D.C., we must make our point with no regard as to who gets hurt. This was all about getting P&R moved to City Hall so customer service jobs could be cut.  Those pushing for the stage demolition are anti-“gubmint” and were patting themselves on the back.  They took the most expensive optioin offered earlier, but that option included cutting two positions.  Hurray!!!  Two less gubmint employees.  Once the Memorial Auditorium issue reared its ugly head, the Tea Party side of the Commission feared a less expensive option would be authorized and those two positions retained.  Last night’s discussion, and the resulting motion, guaranteed the new P&R offices would be located at City Hall and the two positions cut.  So… if necessary… let’s spend $40,000 for additional cost estimates as long as we can hold the “party line” and end up with “smaller gubmint”.

Being fair to all involved, the Memorial Auditorium issue was not a bullet point in the earlier discussions.  The P&R friendly commissioners got their wish… new digs.  The conservative commissioners got their wish… reduced staffing.  Everyone was happy and the project moved forward.  When the Memorial Auditorium issue saw public outcry, that threatened both positions.  The P&R friendly commissioners feared the entire project would need shut down and their favored department would be confined to the old facility for a longer period of time.  The conservatives feared a less expensive option would be realized that would involve new P&R offices in another location and they would not see the desired staff reductions.  Last night’s discussion keeps both sides of the issue happy.  The “food fight mentality” will allow us to enjoy more hearty discussions once the consultant brings back cost estimates for the options given last night.

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Posted: 16 October 2013 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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So, the options last night were either “what I want” or “what I really want”.

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Posted: 17 October 2013 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I don’t begrudge P&R new space, this is just making my head spin. Sure, two positions are eliminated, but no one in their right mind would consider spending excessively an example of “smaller government.” And who would be so petty as to consider the jobs of two customer service employees the tipping point that pushes us into evil, evil “big government” anyway?

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Posted: 17 October 2013 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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IIRC, the $2.95 million option that was approved by the Commission was the most costly.  Less costly options were on the table, such as renovating the existing P&R offices or constructing new offices in City Park.  The difference was the elimination of two positions and the ability to use that savings to pay for the project.  The discussions had something on the order of $110,000/year savings… salary plus benefits for two positions.  Going with the less costly options would not have eliminated those postions and, therefore, have required coming up with additional tax dollars to make the bond payments.  By melding the P&R customer service with existing City Hall customer service, the contention is that budgets can remain the same and the two-position savings make any bond payments necessary.

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Posted: 17 October 2013 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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See, this isn’t making any sense to me. I’m reading the minutes here (PDF), which have four options:

1. $1.35M to retain and upgrade the existing building in the park.
2. $1.5M to tear it down and build new in the park.
3. $1.26M to remove the seating area and add offices and keep the stage.
4. $2.95M to remove the stage and seating and add gym space with offices.

That $110K “saved” won’t pay for the nearly $3M option for thirty years, or 15 years if they’re just counting the difference between it and the next highest option, which is half the price. Besides, a year or two of that $110K is going to get eaten up by all these estimates.

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Posted: 17 October 2013 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Stacia… I think you understand.  It ain’t about the total project dollars.  It’s about being able to brag about gettin’ rid of them “non-essential gubmint employees”.

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Posted: 17 October 2013 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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There’s also $1.8 million in a reserve fund that will be used for the new offices.

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