Friday, February 29, 2008
A couple of things.....
Fejervary Zoo, Here is what we as a council saw in terms of budget decisions, which is where it was presented. Current annual cost $146,000, attendance 23,000+, annual intake approx. $30,000, final cost $116,000 to keep it running as is. The question was put to us do we hire a full time curator at an additional $35,000(I believe). Now I have taken my kids there and they enjoyed it in the past, personally I felt that it could be done better. Where is our niche? Are exotic animals a niche when Niabi has more and is still fairly close? I feel that we can concentrate our efforts on a different niche, revitalize that area, and bring more people in without having alter the character of Mother Goose land. Some thoughts that were tossed out were a better petting zoo, a dog park area, an environmental learning center, and more. How do we get the most for our money? 2101 Main St. / Henry Duetsch House There has been a lot of discussion on this topic and I just want to express my thought process. Here is an old building that may or may not be historic depending on who you ask. The owner doesn't want it. The HPC won't let them tear it down. The one thing I don't want to see is demoliton by neglect. There is too much of that now. It should not matter who is proposing what and past history when it comes to make the decision. The council has made the decision to permit demoltion after a stay of 60 days to allow Ald. Boom to work with St. Paul's to try and find an alternative to demolition. It is my hope that Ald. Boom is able to find a benefactor willing to pony up the cash to move and restore the house. What if the city took the house and moved it? Would you as taxpayers want the city to save this house? I hope a couple of things happen. If the building cannot be saved, that the church works with the HPC to salvage as much from the building to be used in restoring other houses. That the council looks at the HPC and tries to see if there is a better way to work with owners of historic homes in helping them to restore old homes to avoid demolition by neglect and or machine. Right now it feels that (and maybe I am wrong, correct me please if so) the HPC just passes judgement and lets the owner try and make the lemonade out of lemons. I understand their charge of preservation, but I feel the city should be taking a more active role. Finally, the budget, we are taking at least half a dozen opportunities (which I believe is three times more than last year) to discuss various issues and the thing I like to see the most is the amount of questions being asked. I feel the council as a whole has no problem with asking the tough questions and making sure we are getting our moneys worth in decisions being made.
The first requisite of a good citizen in this republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight - Theodore Roosevelt