Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 77
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for February 22, 2001

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

Dear Editor

There are a lot of plans for progress in Warrensburg. A new library is in the works. A restored Blind Boone Park will have a statue & a gazebo. The courthouse lawn si to be beautified with memorial bricks around the Old Drum statue. A new bus service will begin operating. These projects all have one thing in common – they need to raise funds by private donation. And we citizens have to evaluate which we believe are worthy of support.

The Trails Library in the old Woolworth store is a warm and homey place, but it’s small and inefficient. A new library is a big project and will likely involve a property tax in addition to donations. A committee of ‘community leaders’ has been set up to raise private funds and to sell the tax. I think that site selection for this three-story building will be critical if it is to gain widespread support. And hey – let’s keep it homey instead of making it another sterile monument.

The Blind Boone Park effort is unusual in that it’s entirely grass-roots driven, although with the blessing of the City. It’s also unusual because it could actually generate business in Warrensburg as the venue for music festivals, ethnic tourism and special events. It will be right on the planned bike path to Whiteman and is perfectly situated for a historic walking tour, which could be marketed for AMTRAK day trips.

Warrensburg Main Street, Inc. initiated the highly successful memorial brick project at the Veterans Memorial at the northeast corner of the courthouse square. The project to create a matching walk at the Old Drum statue isn’t going as well. I think the County Commission scuttled that part of the project when they wouldn’t allow people to memorialize pets. There are better places to place bricks in memory of loved ones, even if watched over by a dog “faithful and true to death.”

The Old Drum Transportation Service must come up with cash on the barrel head to cover projected operating expenses before a bus will roll. They need $76,000, over half of which will come from taxpayers via the state. They already know that the bus service will never pay for itself – it’s not intended to. And they already know that state (taxpayer) support will be reduced, requiring even more fundraising in the future. I fail to see the economic or cultural benefits of bussing CMSU students, who can walk downtown, out to fringe shopping areas.

When approached for donations, apply your own criteria and choose accordingly. I know I will.

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