- Make a New Years resolution to look for joy, not doom (12/29/20)
- Mask mandates shouldn't be needed, but may be necessary (11/27/20)
- Holiday season brings special stress this year (11/20/20)
- Vote counters should be allowed to do their jobs (11/6/20)
- Daylight-saving time issue will have to wait (11/3/20)
- Seniors 'punching above their weight' in value to society (10/29/20)
- Private citizens can help fight abuse of prescription drugs (10/22/20)
Old auditorium should have been part of original plans
They say hind sight is 20/20, and with or without the corrective lens of memory, that's usually true.
There are many times we wish we would have spoken up when we saw things running off the track, afraid to be nay-sayers "on the wrong side of history."
Even when we think we're right in the end, looking back can provide a glimpse of how we might have been "righter" had we spoken up or made our point more forcefully, or adopted a different position entirely.
Some issues that come to mind include purchase of the old Army Air Base as a source for city drinking water, investment in a kit aircraft company, building a single city/county facility for jail, fire and administration instead of two separate facilities we wound up with, and on and on.
Notice there was no single, easy answer for most of the examples we cited, but it still would have been more satisfying to assume a strong position, one side or another.
Looking back, Memorial Auditorium -- that's what's engraved on the front -- should have played a bigger role in the city's decision to build new offices, police and fire facilities.
Now that the city has settled into its new digs, most of us are fine with the corrugated, industrial architectural theme of the building. "Like" might be taking it a little too far, but most of the public can "tolerate" the facility, which, admittedly, serves its intended purposes much more efficiently than the old non-ADA compliant council chambers in the basement of the auditorium, or the "holding facility" and fire barn down by the railroad tracks.
Moving the police, fire and city administration into the new facilities was supposed to result in a savings to the taxpayer, and may yet, but not this year, according to a close look at budget documents.
The building, closed to even morning walkers, continues to drain the city coffers, with virtually nothing to show in return.
Had taxpayers known that they would still be forking over tens of thousands of dollars to maintain an empty building long after the city had move out, the new building might not have been built at all.