Monday, August 04, 2008

There's a baseball fight in Waukesha, too

Went to the Project ABC meeting tonight (still compiling my notes) and then chased over to the Parks building to see if I could catch the end of the Frame Park baseball stadium discussion. Too late, but the mayor was still there with Chad Bauer.

"Is your watch broken?" the mayor asked. Funny.

Mayor Nelson told me that there were 25 speakers against the stadium, and only four in favor. Of the 25 against, most did not object to Northwoods baseball but objected to the site. I thought that was probably a fair assessment of the crowd's sentiment.

The committee voted 9-0 to recommend.

The mayor does not know how it's going to fare when it goes to the Common Council in two weeks and guesses there are just a couple of committed votes on each side with a whole bunch of undecideds in the middle.

(The mayor also asked me to note a correction: Bauer's company does not build stadiums - brick & mortar - just playing fields.)

Pass or fail, there were some disturbances in the Force tonight. Some of the crowd started to express an interest in suing the city to block the stadium, enough interest to e-mail me and phone me at home. Don't be surprised to see a "Friends of Frame Park" committee form real soon.

In addition, I heard from two different people the idea that any stadium proposal should be put to referendum. Normally I'm against such an idea, but when we're talking about this city's legacy for its children, it is hard not to consider it.

One thing that is very clear: if the team is to prosper in the long term, 1600 seats won't be enough. That means expansion, which is constantly referred to but no proposal has been put forth that includes how that expansion is to be built and/or pair for. Someone from the Common Council should really demand a full explanation before committing to building irrevocably on Frame Park.