Saturday, August 16, 2008

Arguing with the sleep-deprived

I like Pete Kennedy. I've spoken to him a couple of times and he even interviewed me once to find out why I don't like opinionated children (children should be seen and not heard).

I think Pete gave into his sleep deprivation this week when he accused the Waukesha Taxpayers League of getting in front of the Frame Park issue becuase it's popular.

It's popular? Really? Judging from what some of the aldermen have said, the issue is pretty close. Some even claim there is more support for the stadium than opposed, and those opposed are just a noisy minority. Heck, one of the Sound Off callers yesterday claimed that all of his/her friends and everyone met on the street are in favor of it.

I don't know if it's popular or not. We could have a referendum on the issue, preferably on the September Primary. Then we would know for sure.

Pete's "evidence" that the WTL took the position just to be popular is the timing of their opposition. They waited until after there was a concrete proposal (pun intended) to the city. What Pete neglects to mention is everyone else that waited to see what was actually proposed, including me. I guess we're all opportunists, too.

And then, in the most bizarre comment of his column, he questions if the Waukesha Environmental Action League is really opposed to the proposed stadium because they neglected to put their press release on their site. Apparently when the WEAL mailed (you know, stamps, envelopes, federal government) their press releases, they forgot to mail one to Pete.

But I know Pete is a devoted reader of this site, so while he may have missed the WEAL press release in the Waukesha Freeman, surely he saw it printed in its entirety here.

Pete wonders how the WTL could have two seemingly contradictory positions. They're not. Building the stadium is a lose-lose-lose situation. If the team fails, two things could happen. Either the community will be committed to making the team succeed and taxpayers will be on the hook for some "needed improvement" to make the team work, or the city will be stuck with a "white elephant" - an eyesore that will suck more out of the city coffers to maintain that never belonged there. If the team is successful, the park will be off-limits to the community, the stadium will need to expand, and the surrounding community will be disrupted.

If the stadium's proponents would take a little more time to study the situation, perhaps a more suitable location would be found (perhaps the old Sentry downtown or the Expo center, or modify one of the ballfields at the sports complex). Unfortunately, this is being rammed through with little thought.

Of course, if Pete had waited a little bit, say until there was an actual proposal moving through the government, before he initially wrote in favor of the proposal, he would have seen these issues. Next time he should really sleep on it before he questions the motives of the WTL.