Rec district should have made operations plan available

Posted Wednesday, November 19, 2008, at 9:48 AM
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    I beg to differ with you on a portion of this subject. The WECRD has been gives second chances for going on 8 years. Now our sentence is looking like it's going to be 8-10 with no chance of parole. Their ability to run "under the radar" for so long is the only reason they're still around. This fiefdom called a district has done nothing but overpay for a piece of land, hide the Op plan from the public before an election, and hold tightly to a money-pit of a dream house that's set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars a year -- IF they can get people to spring for the $400 a year on top of the amount their being taxed. How and why the election went the way did makes no sense to me. But keeping that Op plan from the public helped hide the truth long enough for people to be fooled a bit longer. Honestly after all this time, I'd sooner dissolve the "district" than give one more penny to fuel this delusionary effort at providing the community "what it wants." In its current form, I believe this plan will provide nothing of any value for the community, likely just the opposite. I think it will be a huge drain on financial resources we can't afford to throw away. Optimistically $200,000 a year in losses!?! HA! That's ridiculous! The entire tax base including home owners and businesses, again optimistically, are to support 500 families membership to the facility while it loses money hand-over-fist. That's not progress to me. As-is this plan could work, just not here. To work a vast majority, something over 75%, of the community would have to have the financial resources to spend $1000 a year on a membership, as well as have the notion to do so. Then tossing out $400-500 (because, yes membership will very likely go up along with the taxes just to keep the doors open) a year to take advantage of what base services membership would afford them would be acceptable. Unfortunately, we don't have that base in our community. That's a big reason I think this plan in unrealistic.

    -- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 2:32 PM
  • I don't know many families that would be able OR willing to pay $400 per year for such a facility. The facility, as planned, isn't even what the majority of the community wants or needs - it isn't useful. The whole thing is a big messy joke.

    -- Posted by I(heart)myboys on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 5:50 PM
  • I read that report in the BBlog before the election. From OM, if I remember correctly.

    -- Posted by senior lady on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 8:54 PM
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    In my opinion, the WECRD withheld the report until after the election since they knew it showed the flaws in the statements they had been spewing. Now if it is actually built and fails, as we all know it will, they can blame the public for not being willing to fully utilize their services.

    I say dissolve the district and find a better use for the money than just throwing it away in the manner the WECRD proposes.

    -- Posted by Old capt obvious on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 9:06 PM
  • I am with you, Old Guy

    -- Posted by justmeagain on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 9:49 PM
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    I agree with you too, Old guy...something along the lines of a youth center for the KIDS of this town. A place for families to have fun. A skating rink, go-kart arena, or even an arcade!

    In my opinion, this town has enough gyms and workout places. There are two pools available, granted, one is on the base, but I'll lay money down that almost everyone in this town knows at least ONE person who has base privileges that can take you to the pool/gym a couple of times a month? What the heck, what do you have to lose by asking?

    Hold a contest for ideas from the children of this community and ASK THEM what they want in this town! I'll bet their ideas are great! Give them a chance.

    -- Posted by flyonthewall on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 11:47 PM
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    Or how about just renovating and expanding the pool we already have? Somebody on the BB mentioned putting a cover over the existing pool? That pool is so little now, there's no swimming in it! STANDING is about all you can do in it during peak hours. And whatever happened to that skate park we were supposed to have? Oh wait a minute...yea, it's there. ARE YOU JOKING?? I love this town but the lack of recreation it has to support the youth of Mountain Home is SHAMEFUL!!!!!!

    ok, I'm done now.

    -- Posted by flyonthewall on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 11:52 PM
  • Would have--could have---should have but did not. Now look at the mess this is and nobody knew about it!

    WECRD meeting next Weds. at 7:00 at the WECRD office...although they claim that they may re-schedile the meeting now since it is the day before a holiday. When they plan to tell people...who knows.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 4:09 PM
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    Here is what Ms. Marsh had to say in a letter this week in the paper:

    "All worthy efforts take time. All structures take capital. The time and the capital are converging and the WECRD is positioned to take advantage of lower construction costs. I look forward to working closely with the city, the county and with you as we move ahead. "

    How much more time do you need to finally turn over some dirt and provide the community what you have promised them? And all we hear about is how construction costs are rising each day, where may I ask are you going to find lower construction costs than today's current ones?

    How about some true answers Ms. Marsh? The lack of them is one of the reasons you did not get my vote.

    -- Posted by Old capt obvious on Thu, Nov 20, 2008, at 9:49 PM
  • There are many other causes in which the WECRD can invest those funds. There is nothing that states they are to only build a recreation center with the funds. Instead of the insane idea of charging membership fees on top of taxes, the district can invest gathered funds in the updating and maintenance of the local tennis courts and the completing of the "brown belt." Both can be recreationally used for free by families. Or how about forming grants opportunities? For example, there is a group, trying to establish a local youth center that could definitely use a portion of those funds...

    I'm not sure what a "building" would add to this community. We already have a wonderful Recreation Program through the city where kids can do about anything recreational...to include swimming. If there are individuals that need to use a lap pool, I don't see why the Rec. District cannot work something out with the air base (perhaps on certain days and hours of the week, our local transit can take a "registered" group out to use the pool facility?) There are plenty of gyms in town for adults, of all ages to utilize, that already cost much less than what is proposed though the WECRD plan. The need for a "bricks and mortar" facility is simply not there.

    The current WECRD Board and volunteers need to remove their blinders and stop looking straight ahead, and look at the big picture. I know the WECRD Board is currently going off the last census of the tax-payers wants, but too much has changed in the past decade.

    It is ok to step back, re-evaluate and perhaps refocus. The tax payers would greatly appreciate it if the WECRD would just take a breath, pause and listen to the public.

    -- Posted by mhgirl on Fri, Nov 21, 2008, at 2:02 PM
  • I agree with greenjean's final two paragraphs especially.

    I attended the WECRD meeting this evening because I wanted to really see what was happening. I was not favorably impressed. I don't feel they wish to represent the community, just still charge ahead with whatever they want.

    I overheard one woman say, "Where were all these people before now?" or words to that effect. Not wanting to make a scene because it steamed me, I didn't answer her. But I will now. The reason I, for one, hadn't attended before was because I trusted the board to make the right decisions. Boy, was I wrong to do that. They may be nice people, except for Ms Marsh who seemed stiff and cold, but that doesn't make up for the fact that their plans are out of step with what many in the community really, deep down, want and need. I don't think the board feels it needs to consider all the people who didn't vote for Marsh. We are just nothing.

    When asked if this board would consider expanding to five members, Marsh responded that they hadn't considered it. What did they think when many folks seem to want that, to make it a more democratic board? Another example of ignoring the public so, I guess, that Ms Marsh can run things her way.

    Doug Belt's resignation was read tonight; it was very kindly worded. A Ms Borgelthaus was appointed to replace him. Maybe she will consider the public more.

    There may be another public meeting with the city council but she doesn't want any member of the public to be able to speak, just observe. She doesn't want it to "turn into a polical" thing. Well, she and the board are in the political arena, and so is the WECRD, when you go about taxing people so much.

    By the way, I don't mind signing in anywhere I wish to speak, but just to enter? We all had to do that. Why? I was there to observe, not being yet up enough on all the facts to be able to speak tonight. I certainly didn't feel comfortable just asking questions, either. I had hoped to find answers to some of my questions on their website, but that is not up to date and does not show their operational budget. She said tonight that they finalize their budgets in August.

    By the way, the cost of their recent election will come to perhaps $14K. I'm pretty sure that it does not include Ms Marsh's costs to run -- even I wouldn't think that of her, albeit it was a lavish campaign in my opinion -- so I'm just curious: ballots, legal notices and non-campaign advertizing, and some minimum-wage helpers came to $14K?

    I am glad that some folks asked questions, though. (And had it recorded, too!)

    I feel the newspaper has been fair with the WECRD, but they are going to ask their attorney to rebut recent articles. They didn't say what it was that upset them, except to mention "facts." An editor's opinion, just like mine or anyone else's, is just that: opinion.

    One lady on the board didn't seem well enough to be there and didn't say much. Another was just appointed tonight and looked like a deer in the headlights. And then there was Ms Marsh doing most of the talking.

    The secretary seems nice and friendly, however. She was the only pleasant thing about tonight's meeting.

    -- Posted by senior lady on Wed, Nov 26, 2008, at 10:29 PM
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