Kicking the can down the road

Nov 19, 2013


The last commission meeting was refreshing when the newly elected officers attended the commission meeting and engaged in discussion, but the same old topics came up to be rehashed over and over again with very little progress being made.  The City Hall move and the situation with the pavilion hovers constantly with seven or more years in the making without anyone knowing how to problem solve and gather the right players together to keep the momentum going for an end result.    

The biggest elephant in the room is how to finance the projects.  It is just not productive to start making plans to move City Hall and find out after all the plans have been made that there is no money to bring the projects to a conclusion.  The city told us that it was practically a necessity to move out of the City Hall building seven years ago and the building still stands.  One hundred year old buildings are being rehabilitated downtown and the fifty year old city building is looking at the wrecking ball, so go figure that one out.  If the city cannot afford to fix up the present building, how does the city justify coming up with the money to move not only city Hall, but the police station and the court? Don’t tell the citizens how poor the city is and then attempt to move City Hall because the taxpayer is not going to buy into it.

Fire Station  No. 7’s dilemma needs to be resolved along with so many other things that are on high on the priority list before we even think about relocating City Hall.  The newly elected officers want to address the budget and at the same time they talk about moving City Hall when our debt is $67 million plus; it is astonishing to say the least.  

The city would like to hear from the taxpayers once again to get their input on what it needs out of the 2014 budget.  I believe it is some kind of public relations get together to sell us on just how bad the city finances really are so they can ramp up the idea of a tax increase. The citizens already know how bad things are but certain commissioners think there is a money tree out behind City Hall. Could it be that the city has a spending problem instead of a revenue problem?

The city’s debt needs to stabilize by not borrowing any more money until such time it can get most of their debt down so money can be freed up to do the things it wishes to do. It is shameful to have $3 million setting in the general fund that the city can’t touch because of our debt load.

Until next week, simply moving City Hall because certain people would like to see some kind of development downtown is not a good enough reason for the taxpayers to foot the bill for such a tremendous expense.  Even the city treasurer stated we didn’t have the money to move, so why are we wasting time talking about a subject that has no merit?


The Bizness

While I do not think it is necessary to locate city hall downtown, I think that people need to realize that just because a building is 50 years old rather than 100 years old does not mean that it is in good repair.

Many 100 year old buildings were well built and sturdy. Many 50 year old buildings were cheaply built, and can cost more to maintain year by year than if you built new.


If the 50 year old building was cheaply built, just how is the new building going to fair if they keep making cheap buildings?

The Bizness

I would probably give it 50 years haha We just don't build buildings with walls that are 2 feet thick of stone anymore.

The difference now compared to 50 years ago would be that a new building would be built to conserve energy(lower utility cost), and in a more sustainable manner with recycling in mind.

I am not saying I think the city should more, or build a new city hall, just saying that I wouldn't be completely against it.

AJ Oliver

People need to understand that the state government has made huge cuts to local municipalities, schools and libraries so they could cut taxes on the ONE PERCENT. When folks say "live within your means", what they really are saying is, "Make drastic cuts to services, or raise taxes." Those are the only two choices.


Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, Che.


I am nowhere near the 1% and my taxes were cut. Be careful when you use hyperbole to spread misinformation, it leads to a cut in your credibility.

T. A. Schwanger


Every two years a new City Commission election is held and with the election comes regurgitated talk of relocating City Hall downtown, not out of necessity, but in the name of "downtown economic development". Fact is City Hall is in the Downtown Central Business District. Fact is City Hall was moved to the present location due to "ease of access, availability of property owned by the City and room for expansion (was built with ability for a third floor).

What is driving the resurgence of downtown is private entrepreneurship, private dollars and a sprinkling of grant money--not transplanting government employees to downtown.

If the newly elected commissioners have been paying attention, they'd realize residents are tired of paying for studies to study a previous study. We need street issues addressed, a dangerous, dying and diseased tree takedown and replacement program, a sidewalk program---Gartland Ave. and Pipe Street are the poster children for needed street and sidewalk improvements.


Darn it, but I agree with everything comrade Tim says here.

J. Hartman

I don't have the answer, but downsizing the police and fire departments is not the answer to save money. Would actually do just the opposite when crime increases or if someone were to die in a house fire the outrage that would follow. Maybe start to consider some very outside of the box possibilities? Maybe someone's idea comes across as a crazy one, but someone else sees it and it sparks a great idea? Just saying, if new money isn't coming in and we're not actively seeking new business to come in, start thinking very outside of the box. You never know?


I think we should design a new city hall with a system in place to bottle all the hot air from the commissioners, and those who constantly critique the commissioners and other city leaders without ever actually taking meaningful steps to solve the problems or running for city leadership positions that would lead to them implementing their ideas. think about it, with all that hot air we could heat the city through out the winter and have enough left over to spin enough wind turbines to power a city wide A/C service in the summer....

AJ Oliver

The forestry department has already been cut back to the point that needed trimming is not taking place - trees are falling on houses. We have several that are ready to fall over in our neighborhood. You can have a city that works only if you are willing to tax the ONE PERCENT.


Preach it, Brother Lenin!