To the editor:

The Community Center Proposal: Is the Cart in front of the Horse?

How do we justify a gymnasium and fitness center when we do not have adequate sidewalks so people close to shopping centers can walk to shop safely or take their children to a park?

More than 60% of Americans walk for recreation or fitness. That percent has increased six percent in the last 5 years (Centers for Disease Control, Vital Signs).

The newest park in Excelsior Springs is Century Park near Highway 69 and Wornall Road. There are residential developments near McCleary Road and Wornall Road, but there is no safe pedestrian path or bicycle path available that connects to the park.

The Excelsior Springs Comprehensive Plan, p. 49 reads: “Many streets lack sidewalks and often present direct hazards to users, closing off options to many users. The development concept and its principles are dedicated to changing this over time.”

The Easter Bunny will be bringing everyone their favorite chocolate eggs this year.

Excelsior Springs does not have adequate sidewalks because the developers were not required to build them when the residential and other neighborhoods were approved for construction. There is a sidewalk in front of the recently constructed Veterans Clinic on McCleary Road. That sidewalk is never used because it does not connect to anything.

How do we justify an aquatic center when the only road through downtown was designed for horse drawn wagons?

There was a private swimming pool in Excelsior Springs. Why did that pool cease to function as a business? We have a subsidized golf course and airport. Will we have a subsidized Community Center?

We should place a proposal on the next ballot that legalizes marijuana. When that proposal is approved we can justify why we had a Community Center on the ballot on April 8.

I would like to see growth in Excelsior Springs. The best way to do that is by building a basic people friendly infrastructure that everyone can use that will not be subsidized. Building a subsidized Community Center will be another “albatross” we can hang on the harness of the old nag that is trying to pull the cart loaded with “clear thinking facts” out of downtown and over the hill to the west side.

Brent Beckett

Migrant Non-Smoker

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