City Hall Looking Further Into Selling Out

This story’s a day or two old, but I was busy this weekend. 

The city continues to look at whether to sell the circa 1929 art deco municipal building and move ‘city hall’ to South 21st and Jefferson.  The goal of the sale would be to lower the cost per person and per square foot of running city without raising taxes.  According to the story, preliminary numbers are in favor of selling the building and moving. 

What concerns me is the focus on the building, its value, and the cost per person to run city hall.  Why?  One, because the city will always have a building and land with value.  If we want to go by the numbers, wouldn’t it be cheaper to move even further south into a neighborhood that could use some love.  Why stay in downtown at all?  Second, generating numbers like this is a highly tenuous endeavor using smoke and mirrors. How do you consider what’s in and out of scope for the numbers.  Do you count only the hard numbers like building cost, utilities, and cubicle walls.  Or do you consider the soft costs like the loss of productivity caused by the move?  Generally speaking, consultants hired to come up with such numbers will use whatever you want, to come up with the numbers you need.  It’s in their best interest to find what you want to find. 

I will acknowledge that, generally speaking, moving City Hall further south in downtown doesn’t bother me… too much.  However, I like that our city’s government offices are right downtown in what could become a very vibrant part of our city.  I like that it’s a building with a history and that we, the average public citizen, can walk in to do business.  I often walk downtown to the municipal building to do my city business and enjoy every bit of it.  If the building goes condo or commercial condo, we won’t be quite as welcome anymore.  Moving to South 21st Street isn’t a huge difference, but it’s enough that I won’t be walking it – at least for a while.

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John Hathaway

For The New Takhoman’s response click link below.


April 27, 2012 at 5:50 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Appreciate John Hathaway’s efforts. I wouldn’t call him a gadfly, I would call him an involved citizen.

April 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Webster’s definition of a gadfly:  a person who stimulates or annoys especially by persistent criticism.

That’s not Hathaway?

I mean, go ahead and be upset at a gov’t decision, action, law, or whatever… but to make it the bain of your every comment makes you a gadfly.

If you hate <span class=“caps”>EVERYTHING</span> about how your city is operating, perhaps you should, you know, shut your trap and run for office.

April 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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He doesn’t annoy me one bit so in my estimation he’s not a gadfly.  People who persistantly complain about my postings <span class=“caps”>OTOH</span> would be correctly identified as gadflies.

April 27, 2012 at 8:51 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Hathaway annoys and nit-picks at the mayor and city council.  I have never seen a positive or productive comment/cartoon/blog posting from him ever.

I am talking about Hathaway, not you fredo.

April 27, 2012 at 8:56 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Chalky White

Gadfly and troll. There is a distinction.

April 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Does a person have to annoy every single person to be labeled a gadfly? Or he can just annoy a subset of people, or can he just annoy one person to be labeled a gadfly? I’m a little confused about this definition.

April 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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“Hathaway annoys and nit-picks at the mayor and city council.” jesse

Did a council member claim that Hathaway was an annoyance…or did you just jump to that conclusion?

I suppose we could say that if the council and mayor were doing a great job Hathaway would have less reason to engage in his “nit-picking.” Just a thought.

April 27, 2012 at 9:37 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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So the litmus test of whether or not the council and mayor are doing a great job is how much nit-picking Hathaway feels compelled to do?  Apparently, one person’s gadfly, is another person’s civic caped-crusader.  It’s all relative. 

Fredo doesn’t think that Hathaway’s a gadfly because he’s not annoyed by him.  On the other hand, those that comment on his consistantly themed (and negatively toned) posts about city government, taxes, and the ‘cost-effectiveness’ line in the the city charter, are gadflies.

Oh,and Jesse’s right.  If someone hates something (or everything) about the city, they need to quit complaining, get involved in the process, and try to fix it

April 28, 2012 at 9:19 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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“If someone hates something (or everything) about the city, they need to quit complaining, get involved in the process, and try to fix it” jd

There is a straw man argument: since Hathaway is a frequent critic of elected officials that means he “hates everything” about the city.

Also, (since you didn’t seem to notice), Hathaway <span class=“caps”>WAS</span> getting “involved,” he filed an ethics complaint. How else would you have liked to see him become involved when he thought the mayor had an ethics issue?

This thread is full of non-specific criticisms of Hathaway.

April 28, 2012 at 9:56 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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