Sunday, December 17, 2006
In defense of City Council member Towny Anderson:
First, he's right. Council has an obligation to spend tax dollars responsibly, even if it means making a special interest group unhappy. Seniors (of which I am one) deserve a place to hold meetings and have a kitchen to prepare lunches, but not at the huge expense of everyone else.
Next, I appreciate a councilman who speaks his mind. The democratic process cries out for public officials who tell it like it is and who do not bow to intimidation. City residents are fortunate to have a member of City Council who won't "go along to get along" and will do what is right for residents/taxpayers.
The location of the new community center is wrong. For everyone concerned about parking in town, this site for a senior center is a disaster. It adds to our traffic problem by taking away parking spaces at the Stock Bridge Transit Center that were intended to keep vehicles out of downtown parking spaces. Now we hear that because of the building's re-design, the site's parking availability is already maxed out.
The better location for the senior center is within a larger recreation center, making less duplication and getting more "bang for our buck." Costs for site evaluation and architectural renderings already amount to about $300,000 for the 8,400-square-foot building. The total construction cost is expected to be in excess of $3 million.
City Council, it's not too late to cut your losses before spending any more taxpayer dollars on this ill-conceived plan. Many of us would rather see the $3 million (or more) savings applied to a combination community/recreation center that is more accessible with less duplication and will serve the entire community better than this.
I disagree with Mr. Van Fletcher, who appears to think nothing of altering plans for the Stock Bridge parking area that took years to conceive and CDOT dollars to build. I disagree with the proponents of the senior center that it must be built at Stock Bridge no matter what the cost to the rest of us.
I agree with many others that Towny Anderson is an extraordinary representative and defender of taxpayer resources.
Loretta Van Norstrand