Hush for money

The strategy of silence I mentioned a couple of days ago that was implemented to get the P&R bond passed, despite the presence of the $12M – now we can say it – natatorium, received some N&R ink this morning.

P&R Director Bonnie Kuester confirmed the simple reasoning for the strategy when she told reporter Amanda Lehmert “…in her 40 years with the department, a parks and recreation bond referendum has never failed.”

During a phone call with Director Kuester yesterday, I told her that I was going to push hard to get my pet project, War Memorial Stadium, under the P&R umbrella during the next P&R bond referendum.  That stadium is one of the oldest P&R facilities and it deserves the same silent treatment as that afforded to what will now be one the department’s newest.

Another way to bolster War Memorial’s chances at the polls in the future might be to simply refer to it as “The Stadium”.  Voters don’t seem very interested in alloting money to any facility they own containing the words “War Memorial”.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted November 6, 2008 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Just be careful that the City doesn’t try to tie the Pool into the Coliseum. The result would end up as an inflatable pool in the parking lot of a renovated auditorium. :)

  2. mick
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The site selection will be an interesting process. I hope I get to see some of it. The CVM/Canada Dry site area has advantages but so does downtownish. Going on land already owned by the City would help. Not having to purchase parking spaces is also an advantage as only occassionaly will truly large amounts of parking be needed. Sharing of existing facilities, infrastructure, etc where/if possible will help with upfront costs and the overhead in the long run.

    I hope they start on some of this stuff asap. I would like the design phase to go ahead if possible which I suppose might require site selection as well. The more we can do now and get closer to “GO” when the money becomes available the better off we will be.

    City Meet 2011 in the GAC?! Maybe!

  3. Ted Oliver
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt that the good impressions associated with Parks & Rec, helped get the bond approved. However, the implication that this was a silent or stealth campaign just does not hold up to scrutiny.
    Pool advocates were all surprised last summer when City Council decided to consider including a pool in the P&R bond. The pool was then very actively debated at an open session of City Council where it was approved 8-0. The N&R wrote two stories, front page I think, about the pool as a result of that debate. Channel 2 had a feature during City Meet about the need for a pool. WFDD ran a story on Monday about the pool and bond. There was a dedicated website allocated to the P&R bond that mentioned a pool. Dara Torres, one of world’s most famous swimmers, wrote a letter to the editor mentioning the pool. Swimming representatives spent several hours with N&R staff explaining the benefits of the bond and the pool that was included. There were several letters to the N&R in support of the pool. Thousands of cards in support of the bond with pictures of swimmers on it were sent out. Swim families wrote hundreds of notes to friends asking for their support.
    If someone says something and you don’t hear it, that does not mean that something was not said. The information about a pool being a part of the P&R bond was there for everyone to see and know about.

  4. dhoggard
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Ted,

    I can’t tell if you are pissed or pleased.

  5. David Wharton
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    David, well done.

    And I agree about the “War Memorial” issue. Something about those words don’t appeal to voters.

    Next time around, let’s promote the renewal of a historic athletic park for the benefit of our youth, and leave out any mention of “World War Memorial Stadium.”

  6. Ted
    Posted November 6, 2008 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I am delighted the bond passed.
    All I’m saying is that the facts don’t support your silent treatment theory. If you want to try it, you better have a large grassroots, under the radar campaign going on at the same time.

  7. bert
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    while the use of already owned land is nice, a use of an infill area is even more desirable. I suggest the old car lot on Bessemer and Wendover. Central, downtown, very accessible and a black hole.

  8. dhoggard
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    But Ted, isn’t a “large grassroots, under the radar campaign” something like a “silent” or “stealth” campaign?

    There were no billboards, no “vote for the natatorium” yard signs, no ads in the papers, no TV ads.

    My characterization of the campaign as being silent was not meant as a slight towards the efforts put forward by you and others. Quite the opposite. It is a recognition for a (quiet) job well done.

    Yes, Bert… that would be a wonderful location. Let’s put it in the mix.

    Yes, David W.. We need a re-branding of WMS.

  9. Ted
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    My Websters gives these definitions:
    silent – “making no utterance” (maybe but, I don’t think so)
    stealth – “theft, something stolen” (most definitely not!)

    However, let me also say thank you for your letter to the editor and for your help and support.

  10. mick
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    David,

    Teddy O is rarely pissed. I actually agree with both sentiments here. We put info out there (as Ted has detailed) but did not make a big deal or a big push. We concentrated on P&R not POOL. It was low key for certain. I answered questions and blogged when I felt it necessary but was not too too aggressive. Concentrated on my own Elks Lodge swim team, folks who asked questions, etc. No trickeration involved just trusting to history and the enormous good will rightfully held by our P&R Dept.

    Thanks for me too…. again.

  11. Don
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    David,

    We could have used your support but some how you vanished after having your tantrum with the city council.

  12. Don
    Posted November 7, 2008 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Members of the P&R department and commission were highly supported, we are very grateful for their support, leadership and wisdom. They folded us into their mission and the city benefited.