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Top 10 most exciting small cities in America
Posted: 03 May 2014 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Randall, you’ll need to make sure you can build it large enough to hold a basketball court.  City staff might walk across from City Hall to play there during their lunch time.  Hilgers doesn’t want to drive down to the Community Building to play.

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Posted: 03 May 2014 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Well, that’s what I heard.  I can’t believe that’s true, if we’re to believe Wynn that it’s the necessity to rectify” the substandard”.  We’re talking offices now.  I need a number.

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Posted: 04 May 2014 09:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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This has nothing to do with the assistant city manager.  A basket ball court is already in place and no matter what we determine at least one basketball court will remain.  If you do further investigation you might also discover that the individual that you malign does not play basketball due to an injury. 

As part of the Quality Initiative - the Heartland Award, all process are reviewed to gain efficiencies.  In the case of P&R the consolidation of the offices will allow us to provide the same level of customer service with two fewer staff members.  This means two things - one we can shift the staff to more productive projects or eliminate the positions through attrition and save some salary and health benefit cost.  This all about best value for the folks that pay taxes.

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Posted: 04 May 2014 09:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Now, Wynn, no one wants to argue that street gossip.  How many offices do we need?

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Posted: 05 May 2014 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Give Hilgers a break, Randall. He is just not staying in shape now that he is not running errands all over town for Dial.

As for the ten most exciting small cities…I don’t know how they came up with their list, but I can think of about a hundred off the top of my head that are lots more fun…and in better climates. These people must not consider climate in their rankings.

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Posted: 05 May 2014 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Wait a minute, Wynn.  Aren’t you in the process of hiring an assistant for the Assistant?

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Posted: 05 May 2014 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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The last “assistant to the assistant” didn’t last long.  They got by without an “assisting to the assistant” for quite a while before they hired the recently departed “assistant to the assistant”.  They seem to be able to come up with a plethora of ways to spend our tax dollars on new projects, even without an “assistant to the assistant”.  The assistant, I guess we’re supposed to call him “Deputy”, was in charge of th e3rd/4th Street Redevelopment.  As that project wound down, one would think he could handle other responsibilities and we might see some of the “efficiencies” Wynn is looking for… by doing away with two or three customer service positions. 
Are there any “assistant to the assistant” tasks that could be handled by these customer service folks… or interns?  Do we really need an “assistant to the assistant” drawing close to six-figures?

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Posted: 05 May 2014 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Look what I found!  An article from the CJ… http://cjonline.com/news/2013-07-14/renovation-living-memorial-raises-ire-some-manhattan-residents

“Hilgers said the $2.9 million renovation project calls for the removal of existing seating in the auditorium to create two floors of office space for the Parks and Recreation department.

The plan also proposes to take out the stage so more space can be created for two practice courts running north and south while maintaining the existing basketball court that runs east and west. Pull-out bleachers will be installed.

For the past three decades, Hilgers said, the Parks and Recreation offices have been in the city park in what was originally to be a temporary location in an uninsulated maintenance shop.

In the early 1980s, the shop was converted to office space. Today, the nine rooms and single restroom accommodate 15 full-time employees, several part-time employees and residents participating in programs or services.

Hilgers said funding for the renovation project will include $1.8 million from capital improvement reserve funds and $1.1 million from Parks and Recreation revenues through bond payments.”

2.9 MILLION dollars for, what?, 15 offices and a basketball court?  Now THAT’S a new definition of “conservative”

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Posted: 05 May 2014 02:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Randall, the article also says the elimination of two customer service postitions will save “$100,000 over 10 years”.  Let’s do some math.  10 years?  That’s $10,000/year… for two positions?  Eliminating two positions that cost us $5,000/year each?  And, according to Wynn, the savings include the costs of benefits.  Umm…  I bet City staff and elected officials turned in close to $10,000 in expenses each January just attending the Chamber’s lobby session in Kansas City.  The elimination of positions has been one of the big selling points.  If the entire “fiscal conservative” argument for moving this to City Hall is the elimination of two $5,000/year employees…..

And, it sounds like they already have one BB court in the building.  Evidently, the AC doesn’t work so City staff can’t use it over lunch breaks?  Speaking of math….  It would seem the cost of two basketball courts should be similar to the cost of renovating the stage.  Weren’t we told in one of the last Commission meeting the stage renovation would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, which local groups would have to raise on their own?  Where is the “subtraction and addition” from eliminating the BB courts and doing a simple renovation of the existing stage and seating?  I’m sure the cost of the stage renovation could be “run up” by adding brick speed bumps along the entry way, similar to those monstrosities along the new 3rd Street.

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Posted: 05 May 2014 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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It certainly is an interesting read, Larry.  Did you notice that the lighting had been torn out in 2012?  Isn’t that… enlightening?  You create an even LESS functional stage, then get your stooges on the commission to vote you almost 3 million for some dandy offices and some air-conditioned b-ball!  It’s a win-win-Wynn!

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Posted: 06 May 2014 03:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Some clarification on the savings obtained by eliminated two positions at parks and recreation.  The savings are 1 million dollars over ten years.  Not the $100,000 you inferred from the article posted.  They did not word the information accurately.  If you have two full time employees that makes $20 and hour they would make a combined salary of $83,200, add retirement and health care and the two positions will be worth 100K a year.  The elimination of the two positions at parks and recreation is projected to save 100K per year or 1 million dollars over ten years.

The one million saved through salary reduction is part of the financing for the P&R building.  Without that savings it is doubtful that the project would be continued.  We currently have two options that are possible for completion.  As both of those options will result in consolidation of customer service at City Hall – the city will in fact save one million dollars for inclusion in the cost of the office construction.

The two options that remain are:
1. Build the P&R office in the green space in front of City Hall, killing off the trees and reducing the building set back –about 1.7 million.
2. Removing the stage and building a second basketball court and P&R offices without increasing the building footprint - about 2.8 million.

In option one the stage remains – but no money is allocated for repair or renovation.  The Mercury inaccurately reported today that option one included two million for the stage which is not correct.  Option one just leaves the stage as it is.

How do the plans stack up with city goals and mission?  Goals – expand park and recreation facilities; build parks and recreation offices; achieve best value in regards to debt.  Part of the Manhattan mission statement is to preserve the built environment.

Option one – Only supports the goal of building P&R offices. 
Option two – Supports all three goals, P&R, expand parks and recreation facilities and is best value as it build two projects – a gym and an office.  If these were done separate then the cost would exceed 2.8 million.

Removal of the stage may not support the mission of preserve the built environment – as the stage already exists. 

A decision matrix would indicate that more of the city goals are achieved by removing the stage; it provides the better value for the greater good.  This was supported by the Parks and Recreation board.  It does have the negative of removing part of the built environment.  But not everything that is built s still useful.
 
In the event that option one is selected the stage will remain as is, and any additional funds will be used to build more gym facilities in another location, exceeding the aggregate cost of the stage removal project. 
The auditorium itself may become a CIP project in regards to the roof and the AC – as that will enhance the goal of gym facilities use.  Private efforts may be used to renovate the stage.  The Commission goals for the year do not include the stage as data clearly indicates a lack of best value, gym space trumps stage space.

The Mercury also reported tonight that the Peace Memorial Auditorium was a WWII memorial.  I guess if a falsehood is repeated enough times people will believe it.  Publishing a picture of the plaque on the front page might set the record straight.  If a WWII memorial is desired then perhaps the Veterans Coalition, VFW, and Legion might consider a project to actually create one.  Or as part of the living memorial idea, change the plague or add a display in the foyer of the Auditorium that makes the building a true living memorial to WWII veterans. 

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Posted: 06 May 2014 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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You keep pounding out the same lists, Wynn, as if they’re stone tablets.  Why is that?  Because staff tells you they are?  You keep making stuff up about the memorial as well.  The Merc and CJ say you’re daft, yet THEY’RE the ones spreading “falsehoods” and “propaganda”.  What’s up with that?

I ask for the third time, HOW MANY OFFICES will your 3 million-dollar baby build?

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Posted: 06 May 2014 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Randal – You can click into the city website and find the drawings for the two plans.  Failing in finding the copies you might query the City Clerk for assistance.  They include a bit more than just office space.  The plan that increases the footprint of the building does some other reconfigurations of break areas, legal offices etc.  It is not just a simple count of office space.  Work space for equipment, training of coaches and other things are also included.

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Posted: 06 May 2014 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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But, to be clear, you agree that the goal is to improve/expand the substandard office space for Parks and Recs.  The other things are extraneous, and could be eliminated or, say, incorporated into a second story on the adjacent roundhouse?

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Posted: 06 May 2014 05:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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$1.7 million to leave the stage and build new P&R offices attached to City Hall.  $2.8 million to tear out the stage, replace it with basket ball courts and build P&R offices.  Wynn and Hilgers have dug in and are insistent on the $2.8 million project that rips out the stage.  They say if the lower cost option is used, and the stage saved, there won’t be any money spent on the stage renovation!!!????!!!!  Wait!  Where does the $1.1 million difference between $1.7 and $2.8 go?  Oh, I’m sure they will say P&R want the basketball court and don’t want the stage, therefore, go pound sand.  Arts In The Park are part of P&R.  The City Band is part of P&R.  Just because someone has their nose out of joint, we can’t consider the stage renovation as part of P&R?  Citizens attending concerts and plays and other indoor activities can’t be considered “recreation”?  Nope!  Evidently, some have been so lobbyed by the parents involved in the Fieldhouse Group that the “common citizen” can be left out of the equation.  They’ve been sold on the idea there is a shortage of basketball courts and the old stage was only used three times/year.
The P&R must bear some of the responsibiilty for allowing the stage to fall into dissrepair.  That is exactly what they did with City Park Pool.  Let it deteriorate until the taxpayers are forced to do something and have that “something” be grandeur. 
If you can come up with $2.8 million, build the P&R offices for the $1.7 and put $1.1 towards the Memorial Auditorium!!!!

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