Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 25, 2013

Sept. 25, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — City workers need raises, not stadiums

Mayor Goodnight recently discussed a plan to refurbish one stadium and build a new one. The new bypass was mentioned as a possible location. I thought the new bypass was supposed to be kept undeveloped.

If you put a stadium there, then what’s next? A restaurant or two, so the people who come to the stadium have a place to eat when they are hungry after the game?

We’ll also need a gas station with a convenience store so people low on gas can fill up. Why not make it two stations (competition is good). Then we can have a couple of retail stores so the people can shop between games. And don’t forget about motels.

Soon the new bypass will be teeming with businesses, and not many people will see the need to stop in Kokomo to shop or eat a meal.

It makes more sense to me to spend extra money to refurbish CFD stadium and save the expense of building this new stadium with limited usage. In Highland Park, you could move the playground area and horseshoe pits to the Old Ben location, and relocate the concession stand area to make room to expand the CFD stadium.

Or you could build it over the existing, primitive stadium at the south high school campus. Then there’s Huston Park to the north.

If it’s going to be used primarily for high school baseball and tournament games, then spend more money on an upgrade to existing properties to modernize them. There will be more upkeep charges with two stadiums to care for.

If this truly is for the kids of this community, build it in close proximity to those who will use the facility (high-school age kids).

The mayor touted our “robust cash balance of $44.8 million.” It seems the mayor is trying to spend this money before he leaves office in a few months.

The partial list of spending is: Upgrade CFD stadium in Highland Park (cost?); a brand new stadium built somewhere (cost?); structural and aesthetic upgrades to Fire Station 6 (cost?); flood mitigation along the Wildcat Creek (cost?); $4 million donation to the YMCA; a new $8.5 million downtown parking garage, and a new recycling plan with many unknown expenses (cost?).

The mayor needs to get a handle on his wish list or we’ll be back in the boat we were floating in 2008. Some of the items above are good ideas and needed, but not all. I’ve seen no mention of a rainy day fund in any recent article.

You can’t keep annexing your way into a “robust city cash balance,” and you shouldn’t be making money off the backs of those who work to make you a success by cutting heads and forgoing pay increases.

Clinton Wray