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 Lakeside Park, Does the City Have the Money?

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PostSubject: Lakeside Park, Does the City Have the Money?   Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:13 pm

There are a variety of questions that need to be asked about this project. This post is to present the facts.

The links below are the facts as presented to the city council last night.

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Here are some facts that the supporters of the project seemed to overlook. There have been critical mistakes made for the funding of the project by David Lang. Page 4 clearly shows that the cost to be in excess of $400,000 and the tenure of David Lang only budgeted $30,000 to date.

The anger expressed at the meeting appears to be misdirected. If Mr. Lang had budgeted $30,000 for the last four years would have matched the grant and the projected would have been almost paid for.

Just food for thought! Another fiasco created by poor leadership. Now this council is stuck with how to fund.
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PostSubject: David McLaughlin, a City Attorney Ortonville can be proud of.   Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:32 pm

After having sat in the Ortonville City Council meetings through 2009 it was refreshing to watch new City Attorney David McLaughlin in action. The City Council meeting last Monday night April 5, 2010, found some passionate discussion on the subject of the Lakeside Park Project. City attorney McLaughlin weighed in and laid out all the options that were available to the city council in moving on this project. He was well informed and answered any questions that the council members had. Mayor Dinnel stated that he had inquired if not going through with the project would affect any future grant applications and he had been assured that it would not. Curiously both Becky Parker and Artie Arndt stated that they didn't believe Mayor Dinnels statement. They never gave any reason or foundation for their belief. One could wonder if there was some attempt at fear-mongering.

Both Becky Parker and Artie Arndt spoke passionately about why this park project was important. Artie began his speech acknowledging that he was a former City Councilman and that when you are on the City Council and want a job done you will find the money. He thought they could look for reserves or at the enterprise funds or in the undesignated funds. (Let's see, the EDA had an undesignated fund of over $270,000 and now they have a balance of around $30,000 in the red. See here.)

Becky Parker stated that it we don't do something to bring revenue to the city crunching numbers won't matter. She had stated that this would create jobs. She never explained how the park would create jobs. Perhaps that is why the EDA is having such trouble creating economic development. They think a new park creates jobs. Didn't anyone tell them that business and industry creates jobs?

Councilman Dorry asked Becky Parker, If she was sitting in his place what would she cut? Becky basically replied that she didn't know anything about the budget but that they could find the money somewhere.

Dan Kafka spoke in favor of the park without embellishment or theatrics. His statement was straight forward and to the point about the benefits of the park.

At one point during the discussion Mayor Dinnel took command of the moment and flatly declared that the budget is important, this city council is facing cuts that no council has had to face before. Mayor Dinnel stated that in the election that's why he ran was that people were tired of enterprise funds being used for unrelated projects.

Everytime the EDA and the Chamber want something they go to the City coffers and expect to dip their hand into the till and pull out as much as they want. Becky made a point about the "power of the people" who had raised 2.1 million for the hospital. I agree with you Becky. Let the people who want the project raise the money. Leave the city finances alone. It was interesting watching a group of people, who are used to run the city without any restrictions, face off a city council that isn't in their pocket. You could see the set jaws of determination as they left the room.

Becky in her final appeals stated emphatically that this was not about a childrens playground. There was a "bigger picture" of the Trail Head. Mayor Dinnels appropriate response was "We ARE DEALING with a bigger picture."

This discussion was done without rancor. Everyone was civil and that, I believe, is due to the firm leadership and fairness of Mayor Dinnel. He allowed everyone to have their say and was patient and respectful of both sides. It could be said that most everyone is in favor of park improvement. (Although there are some that are dead set against the part where they want to cut off the street.) The issue is not about wanting or not wanting the Trail Head. The issue is the City does not have the funds. If there are people passionate about the park then they should step out and raise the money to build it. If they insist on getting grant money that requires matching funds then they need to raise the matching funds on their own. That makes the project more worth the earning.

Be sure to watch the meeting on channel 3 or check it out of the library.

The City Council also voted to reimburse the $150.00 charge to the Big Stone Lake Area Forums made by former City Clerk David Lang for public data. I wish to thank the City Council for considering the matter and for their vote. thank you

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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PostSubject: Why?   Thu Apr 08, 2010 4:17 pm

After reading your posts I am disappointed with the proponents of the Park. My family never believed in free hand-outs, or government taking care of us.

Where is the creativity of the public? This project has been in the works since 2001. Artie was on the council when the funding should have been discussed and Mr. Arndt was creative in finding money. He found money for many projects and he apparently reminded all present of this ability and even Mr. Arndt could not find funding for this project. Why blame this council for the shortcomings of past councils?

Ms. Parker has access to hundreds of people who have the money to raise privately the entire sum and she so adeptly pointed out we have privately raised this money in the past.

Just a few weeks ago I believe seeing a post from EDA saying they had plenty of money for a project. Maybe EDA ha the money or he Historical Association or even the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber jus received their stipend from the lodging tax.

These organizations seem to be the appropriate sources. Why take from the elderly on fixed incomes?

Why not find some alternative source instead of going to a well A well that has gone dry? I am in favor of the park. I just do not believe the only source of money should be the city.
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