Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A thoughtful dissenting view

Jeff at Five Points has been a proponent of building the stadium at Frame Park, and offers what I think is some thoughtful commentary right before the vote. He's still wrong on most points, but one point is especially worth examining.

Opponents in the Soundoff have used this controversy to attack Mayor Nelson’s support for other proposals including the Clarke Hotel/Black Trumpet Restaurant and the Shoppes at the Fox River. As if support for economic development, job creation, business attraction/retention, and increased tax base are somehow bad things.

I would generally agree with the sentiment (and I actually support those developments), but what I think causes all these issues to be lumped together is the speed and manner with which the hotel was pushed through, and now we're seeing a replay with the stadium proposal. I'd also lump in the Carroll University dorm issue as well.

One other point Jeff makes:

Opponents are losing sight that the reason people support this is not to line the pockets of the team or to sell off the park for commercial interests. People support it because they think it will be a great asset to Waukesha. They support it because it will provide the more than 67,000 people of Waukesha an excellent, inexpensive recreational activity while also saving money and providing the teams that use Frame Park with a top notch facility. They are supporting this because they think its a good idea to have a lot of activities, stores, and recreational amenities in and around downtown. They are doing it to attract more people to the City. Nobody that I talked to that supports this is doing it to help out the Northwoods league, they are doing it to help out Waukesha.

What I think proponents are missing is that most people opposed to building the stadium are opposed to building the stadium at Frame Park, not to the idea of Northwoods baseball in general. I'd argue that almost any location other than Frame Park would probably command the assent of 70-80% of Waukesha, depending on the subsidy required.