Archive for Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letters to the Editor

October 22, 2009

To the editor:

The Greenspace Committee, made up of volunteer community members interested in parks and green spaces in Baldwin City, was charged by the city council to help gauge what features the community wanted to see in their parks, especially at Kapelle Park, which is where the Baldwin City Municipal Golf Course is located.

A survey was conducted and the results showed the top interests to be: Walking/fitness trails, community center, golf course, athletic fields, driving range, playgrounds, outdoor amphitheater, skate park, community garden and Frisbee golf. This committee was also utilized in the Parks Master Plan process to give preliminary feedback to the park planners as to the perceived needs of the community.

Our desire to see real and immediate improvements in our parks led us to present a recommendation to the city council on Oct. 6 containing two items that would most impact the Baldwin community. Those items are: 1) a comprehensive community-wide trail system that would address both the health and safety of all residents and 2) improvements to existing parks with restrooms, parking, and water fountains.

There are certainly other things that need to be addressed, such as new neighborhood playgrounds, a skate park facility, a Frisbee golf course, athletic fields, golf course and a community center. There are a lot of existing needs, but unfortunately, there is no present funding to address these “quality of life issues.”

Therefore, we are stating our support of the city council’s quarter-cent sales tax to support “Quality of life issues” in this community. We feel that the sales tax gives all those who pass through our community the opportunity to help pay for major improvements to our parks and library versus a property tax that is paid for only by city residents.

If you want to see improvements to our parks, library and other green spaces, we urge you to vote in favor of the Sales Tax Proposition 2 for “quality of life improvements” on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Signed

Betsy Armbrister, Nancy Arnold, Christi Darnell, Steve Friend, Ginny Honomichl, Mary Lisa Joslyn, David Simmons. Greenspace Committee.

To the editor:

Sunday night, I sat down after completing the last of my tasks for Maple Leaf. It was a relief. The festival was done and it appeared to be a success. As I reviewed the week and weekend, I am amazed, as always, how we pull it off. Someone asked me on Friday if I was stressed. “No,” I replied, “it will happen as it's intended to happen, so I'm just going to help it along.” That is what “we” did.

“We” includes a roster too large to mention by name. It's not just the committee members — we're a small portion of the manpower it takes to have this festival — it's everyone who works with us that pulled this off. Thanks needs to be given — must be given — so that “we” know what “we’ve” done.

We managed more than 200 vendors, we contacted hundreds of people to supply everything from chairs, tables, straw, porta-potties, electricity, water, mowing, parking, street signs, first aid, food, parade entries, insurance, radio shows, advertising and maps. We chalked booths, we taped squares and we set up tents. We directed traffic, protected parade viewers, led children in a parade all their own after choosing our Petite Grand Marshals. We honored people in our community who inspire us, we moved cars, we fixed electricity. We walked to our homes, our apartments and our businesses further than we normally would have because we couldn't park in front. We were chilled before the sun came up and weary going home after the sun went down. We laughed over hot coffee, we yelled across streets. We stopped Maple Leaf Committee members to tell them what we liked and what we didn't like. We bought stuff, we visited with friends, we visited with neighbors. We emptied trash, we cleaned porta-potties and we scooped the poop after the horses. We helped injured, the lost, the confused. We fed people. We entertained people. We gave directions, advice and support. We calmed nerves, helped people on and off the trams and drove people around our beautiful campus and city.

And, because we all did this, we can continue. We can now fund scholarships, buy supplies for classes, purchase equipment for schools and fund nonprofits. We can write checks to organizations in our community and rest easy knowing that many succeeded this weekend in generating the capital that will allow them to do their philanthropy. We will make a difference in so many lives in big and small ways.

If you were a volunteer in the Maple Leaf Festival, you made a difference. If you worked overtime for the city, fire, police or Baker to help pull this off, you made a difference. If you lived in and around Baldwin City you were impacted by this festival and you made a difference.Thank you all for your countless hours, your smiling faces and friendly waves to visitors, vendors and fellow volunteers. None of this is possible without you. And “we” do make a difference.

Annmarie France

Maple Leaf Festival chair

Comments

Justask 4 years, 6 months ago

Dear Greenspace Committee, Were you not at the council meeting where the mayor and his cronies dismissed your proposal? The way these ballot questions are worded, there are no guarantees that any sales tax money will go toward trails, the library or park improvements. The wording says "could." So the money raised can go to anything the council and mayor deems is "quality of life." Get it? You want sales taxes to pay for whatever pet projects the council and mayor wants, not what the committee recommends.

I believe all of those items and the infrastructure proposals are important to this city. I don't believe passing this sales tax will get it done. The council and mayor have written two unclear sales tax proposals for us to vote on. Neither proposal should pass.

The council and mayor should have to put forth new ballot questions with clear specifics and deadlines. Anything less than that, will not pass.

Please Vote No on Both Sales Tax Questions.

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Torch 4 years, 6 months ago

This community needs an appetite supressant. Are any of you aware of the world-wide recession that is going on?

Baldwin reminds me of a teenager with their parent's credit card - spending current AND future dollars that don't exist.

Champaign taste and a beer budget. Get a grip before we all go bankrupt!

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uapinochet 4 years, 6 months ago

Trails? If anything, how about sidewalks? The sidewalks could maybe someday lead to trails though, I guess.

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Stacy Napier 4 years, 6 months ago

I just want my street paved. We have gravel roads in this city and you want a Frisbee golf or amphitheater.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!

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BaldwinDad 4 years, 5 months ago

I'm going to have to agree with the other posters...at this time using any tax money to improve issues such as the green-space committee is recommending is just wasteful.

I do not think it's short sighted but seriously naive to think with all the other problems in this town, that spending on projects likes those that the green-space committee is recommending seems like a good idea.

I would rather see money go to improving sidewalks, paving some in town roads, sewer and water improvements.

Or Better yet no tax at all....we really need to do something to make this town more AFFORDABLE to live in, at this point it's already more attractive as far as amenities then most any other town our size in the area.

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