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Feb 06, 2013

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Fec

The internet and social media are fads.

Fec

Ross Harris wants another $25K to update the website.

Fec

My apologies. Harris will update the website as soon as she is out of hospital. It seems she was burned trying to spit fire while on stilts portraying Brunhilde in dress rehearsals for the DPAC production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen. Unfortunately, there were several collateral casualties from those succumbing to fits of laughter.

Fec

Sorry, I got bad intel. Harris will update the website as soon as she returns from a cruise sponsored by the matching making website Realistic Expectations.

Fec

Wrong again. Harris will update the website as soon as she returns from DC where she has scheduled a seance with Frank Lutz, Karl Rove and Lee Atwater concerning Mayor Perkins' re-election campaign.

Hartzman

The task force didn't do a study of how the parking would affect other businesses downtown.

Willful negligence.

The attachment says they only have about $15 million from private donors.

The "pro forma" didn't include debt service on $20 million of the cost that needs to be borrowed.

Misleading via willful negligence.

Roch

Fec's funnier.

Fred Gregory

Since when has a lack of funding stopped unpaid "volunteers" ?

Roch

To Ed's post, that really is pathetic. I mean bumbling Barny Fife pathetic. Presenter Linda Brady even mentioned during her remarks last night that people can find the final report at gpac2012.com where it is not and where the last update under "Recent news" is from December 12th of last year.

sal leone

I am glad that I was not the only one who could not find the GPAC report, she did say it was online. Nice lady, loves to speak but you can tell she comes from money and would never eat at a food vendor,lol

Kim

Easy Sal.

sal leone

Just a joke, she did look nice and well spoken, I like her, very professional looking.

Sue

@Sal - the reports are not on the site as news post, but are on the home page just under the picture smack in the big column titled (in big font) "Task Force Final Report: Phase II – January 2013." The link to the site is http://gpac2012.com. They're front and center, all 8 sections, all linked from the home page.

Ed Cone

Linda Brady is the chancellor of UNCG. I assume you are talking about Louise Brady.

What's the household income cutoff for people who eat at food vendors?

Fec

Is a skylight over the orchestra pit in the initial design or will that come later?

Hartzman

The cost of the pavilion isn't included.

Fec

Absent sufficient threats and arm twisting to approve limited obligation bonds, general obligation bonds will fail precisely because the referendum will be about Matt Brown, rather than the proposed PAC.

sal leone

Thanks sue, read the reports, nice building. I will say that the people did a nice job on the project. I hope all the problems with money can get solved and the can move forward with the project.

Now Sue, I got the feeling you were being fresh with me on where the post were,lol. I can take a laugh, it was funny.

Brian

Your right Fec. If it comes to a vote and Matt Brown is anywhere within 10 feet of the project, I will vote against it. So, I'm pretty sure they will try to avoid a vote on the project - any way they can.

sal leone

The sad part of this project is that it could work but the powers at be have put their hands into it and soiled it. I think if we lower are debt, work on funding, change the location, the project could work.

My first idea is to close the war memorial, people say we would lose money, how I say. The complex over the last 10 years from my PIRT request has shown losses over one million plus per year. The repairing of the complex is a lost cause if it we plan on building a new one, you dont put a band-aid on a 3 inch cut.
The second idea is to reduce spending/projects. I don't think building another pool for millions is a smart idea right now.

The GPAC people put together a nice plan so I hate to see it wasted.

hartzman

how do u feel about two thirds bonds sal?

sal leone

I am not sure we should do anything this year with any bonds. If I understand it right, what principle(retired debt) we pay on are debt, we can use 2/3 of it. I dont like the idea of this kind of bond, just another way to get around the people.

http://canons.sog.unc.edu/?p=3542

Hartzman

"I dont like the idea of this kind of bond,
just another way to get around the people."

Agreed.

Thoughts on using the 2/3rds bonds for the GPAC Ed
or anyone else?

sal leone

The best thing to do is lower our debt. I like the center but to burden the entire city for the few is just too much to ask. In a few years we might be in a better place. We don't know where the economy is going, don't know about job growth. I say we need to get into a money saving way of life. The city is spending like we are in a booming economy, Arts Center, Pools, etc, all are nice but are wants and not needs. We need roads, fix our water lines, keep our taxes down, social programs. I know a lot of people that don't care for the pools and arts center, some dont even know we have a pool already, they busy working and trying to survive.

Mick

Are we referring to the repairs to Grimsley Pool?

Hartzman

Grimsley Pool is a pretty good example.

Should city council vote to use two thirds bonds to fix Grimsley's pool?

sal leone

Yes, Mick Grimsley Pool, I think they said it would cost in the area of 5 million dollars. I don't want kids to not have a good time, but if the PTA can raise the 5 million then have at it. The pool is a want and not a need, kids need to learn math and science and not how to dive into a pool. I went to H.S without a pool, one can live without it. I dont think using tax payer dollars to fix a pool that only the few will use is right, can I go to the pool whenever I want, the answe is more than likely NO.

I am sorry but a pool is not life and death, we have other issues we need to address, mental illness, the homeless, the hungry, etc, and dumping money into a want is not what we NEED

Mick

The 5 million is the figure that the "tear it down" crowd likes to use. The "save the pool" crowd prefers the smaller 1 million +/- that they have from their experts.

When it is operable: You can go to the John Dewey Pool at Grimsley during hours it is open to the public. There are very few facilities you can go to "whenever you want". During the school year Grimsley does have some obvious limitations. Part of the gig I guess.

I would like to see Grimsley Pool saved as it is important to High School swimming (not just Grimsley) and to area residents. However, I understand the issues at 5 million bucks. I am far more interested at 1 million. It does seem to me that certain engineers seem to be used when the city wishes to tear something down though. Probably just my imagination.

I would also like to see extensive renovations at Lindley Pool. If it was as nice as Bur Mil and Northeast then it too would be well used.

It is a good discussion and worthy of real debate. But I think taking care of what you already have is good use of funds.

Fec

I think taking care of what you already have is good use of funds.

Agreed and that includes both pools.

ron

I wonder why it's like pulling teeth just to get $20 million from the city to build this PAC while Charlotte can magically get $100 million from their city to upgrade Panther Stadium? If we can get this performing arts center built without any burden on the taxpayers great. I think all proponents would rather see this scenario. However if it comes down to it, I will support the $20 million. When you look at all the other multi-million projects that have been built with little controversy like $20 million for Natural Science Center upgrades, this should not be a problem. The opponents use the "this should be about jobs" defense. While the PAC would not directly produce jobs, it would be a downtown jewel that will help attract those high paying jobs to Greensboro in the long term. When big companies are looking to relocate to a community, the quality of life plays an important role. They look at what kind of amenities a city has and whether or not the city is pro growth and forward thinking. This is one reason why areas like Charlotte and the Triangle are big magnets for these kind of companies. A PAC is not the silver bullet but its part of the puzzle.

Roch

"I wonder why it's like pulling teeth just to get $20 million from the city to build this PAC while Charlotte can magically get $100 million from their city to upgrade Panther Stadium?" - "Ron"

It seems to me that as the request from the City has changed from $40M to $20M, the response has been more agreeable. I don't see the teeth pulling resistance you describe. I see a combination of a walk-back of the premature promise of funds from private supporters combined with proper fiduciary prudence from City Council for which I'm thankful lest we end up like your role model Charlotte and find ourselves slapping a food and beverage tax on the people to pay for it.

I am of the opinion that you do not have a very good view of the landscape.

Ron

All I am saying is that a facility like this will likely require some public funds. Can you think of any civic performing arts center completely funded with private dollars? We need to understand that we can't have a savior like the Bryan Foundation funding every major downtown civic project. We've been lucky compared to most communities. We a privately built convention center. We got a baseball stadium an center-city park for free. But the city is going to have to eventually invest in some things like all other cities our size that have these kind of amenities.

Roch

"But the city is going to have to eventually invest in some things like all other cities our size that have these kind of amenities." -- Ron

It's okay to rethink your talking points, especially when they ring hollow. Greensboro invests plenty in public amenities (including the Center City Park you erroneously categorize as "free.") Enthusiasm is one thing, mindless cheer-leading untethered from reality is quite annoying.

Ron

First of all when I said Center-City Park was free, I was referring to the initial investment...

The kind of mindset that leads to lack of city investment in BOLD projects is ONE reason why we are lagging far behind Charlotte and Raleigh. It's why our unemployment rate is higher. We think Greensboro can't more than a little dried up textile town and distribution hub. Some may be content that Greensboro is a small city and has this "small town feel" but we need to grow to stay competitive. Sure we invest in the coliseum but we need to do more. Jim Melvin isn't going to bail us out every time. Greensboro needs to rise to the next level and try to compete with cities such Charlotte. We need to do a better job working with Winston-Salem as well because it will take a regional effort to compete with places like Dallas/Ft Worth and Atlanta. Complacency is not a good thing. Times are tough and city funds are limited. But we need to take on bold projects that will help create the kind of environment for these high paying white collar jobs that we want so bad. A city of almost 300,000 shouldn't have a run down auditorium serving as a performing arts center. It's an embarrassment.

inkslinger

"A city of almost 300,000 shouldn't have a run down auditorium serving as a performing arts center"

And whose fault is that? Why should you have to have a bond referendem to fix a freaking roof? Proactive maintenance would have extended the life of this facility quite a bit and minimized all its negative publicity IMHO.

Whose to say the new GPAC would fare any better?

Roch

Ron, you mention "compete" and "competition" a lot. By that I gather you mean for white color jobs. I get what you're saying, but, like it or not, support of these kinds of things has to be won -- or earned, convincingly. Convincing takes either public manipulation too clever for the forces in play here or genuine authenticity.

As it is, I think the Greensboro should build a performance center of the kind proposed if at all feasible. It looks like the City is within inches of confirming its commitment to $20M, which sounds reasonable to me--with a good possibility for return on investment (gut feel).

Sure, there are weak spots; the parking issue as raised by others is not unimportant, but it's not an Achilles heel either.

What's lacking is the genuinely convincing appeal to the people of Greensboro. "We have $20M in private funds, sort of, kind of, do I hear $15M?." and "Compete with Charlotte!" are not genuine or persuasive and are counterproductive.

To the extent that this is about white color jobs it is because of an appeal to white collar workers is identical to the appeal to a vast swath of people who might vote for or otherwise financially support such a facility: Greensboro's own white collar work force. The genuine appeal to them is how much they'll enjoy it. Potential support from those people has not been stimulated in any public or cohesive way.

There are other aspects to building public support for this project across larger demographics, but there hasn't been a significant effort at mass appeal. Maybe that's intentional and there is a path to success that doesn't require broad public support, but if broad public support is part of the plan, it's not being done well so far.

Ed is right in his repeated proddings, that the free and low-effort Internet should be better utilized. The PAC is invisible in the stream of cultural media®. Maybe the people in the lead are keeping their powder dry, but if there comes a time when their efforts are going to depend on some public persuasion, they will have to do a better job than they've done so far. I actually think they might, but I hope, for the sake of their success, that they steer clear of the rhetoric and propaganda and make an authentic appeal based on the genuine advantages of the place to the hometown folk.

ron

Whats great about the performing arts center is that there is opportunity for broad appeal Roch. This is not just a venue for the snobby rich. There is more to a PAC than opera and symphony. The PAC will host events that will appeal to all segments of the population.

I don't think its so silly for us to try to compete in the same league with Charlotte. Sure the city is three times the size of Greensboro and is at least 30 years ahead of us. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that Greensboro is no Charlotte. But we have to have that can do spirit as a city. We are beginning to see that now. The great things that have happened in our city over the past several years is evidence of that. There is an old saying. If you want to shoot for the moon, shoot for the stars so that we land on the moon. We have to have the kind of drive that made Charlotte what it is today. If we don't play the game and compete, we'll always be followers and the bulk of all those good jobs will continue to go to Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham. I'm glad to see you at least support the idea of having a new performing arts center. There are some who will be against it no matter what.

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