Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 116
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for December 6, 2001

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Does the Warrensburg Park Board have grandiose ideas or what? They heard a “rumor” (later confirmed) that CMSU wants to move the college farm to a larger site outside of town, so they decided that they want about 80 acres of the land for a new park. They’re going to ask CMSU to give them the land to increase park space on the east side.

What’s wrong with this? Money! For one thing, this is the park department that is running a substantial deficit at the Community Center and their operational budget is stretched by the 3 other parks in development: West Park, Culp Park and Blind Boone Park (fortunately, most of Blind Boone Park is being done by community volunteers). For another, CMSU, which doesn’t need legislative approval to purchase land, does need it to dispose of existing land and would likely need an appropriation to buy more – and some legislators are still angry about the Dr. Elliott fiasco.

Perhaps the Park Board could make a new park self-supporting. I can see it now: Old Drum World, where people will eagerly plunk down their money to ride the Bumper Dogs, the Tilt-a-Bark and the Mad Dog coaster. The carousel, with hound dogs in endless pursuit of rabbits and deer. Games of skill, such as the dog-collar ring toss. The ferris wheel with seats shaped like dog biscuits. Concession stands shaped like fireplugs. Maybe drop a coin in the slot to visit a garden of doggie memories (you know, the one somebody wouldn’t allow around the Old Drum statue at the courthouse).

The real answer, if the situation develops further, is to allow the land to be developed with the requirement that the developer provide additional park space adjacent to Marr Park. That way, Warrensburg gets more parkland and more tax base. If the Park Board gets the whole 80, don’t expect any creative financing; instead, watch for yet another tax increase to hit the ballot.

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