Dear Editor:

The Liberty Community Center is a success. The original physical structure is now about 20 years old and is very impressive. The expansion done in 2002 blends in as if it was a part of the first building. The Liberty Community Center enjoys financial support from large corporations, local businesses and individuals. Liberty’s Communtiy Center is an integral part of the educational system, the neighborhood and the supporting population base of 60,000. Taxpayers would have a profitable venture if not for the reduced rates provided to educational facilities and other non-profit organizations. The Center is 96% self-sustaining with a full-time staff of 10 and about 50 part time employees. The budget is almost $1,500,00 per year.

Should Excelsior Springs copy the Liberty Community Center? Absolutely not.

The presentation at the high school on Wednesday night (Feb. 12) was not well done. The drawings did not show the basic dimensions. The type size was so small in some cases it required a magnifying glass to read. A model would have been a better presentation. The presentation staff were nice, but when a 17 million dollar project is involved, nice is not enough. As the Sheriff in the movie Cool Hand Luke said, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

The planning should have included professional market research. The Web site feedback does not qualify as professional market research. The taxpayers need to know what type of Community Center our population base will support. Market Research is a science; not a boat that is launched with a hope it will float.

Local private swimming pools have not flourished. We do have a fitness facility that the community is supporting. We have meeting facilities for rent downtown, but parking is an issue. We have more questions than answers based on sound information.

Excelsior Springs does not need another tax burden.

The ballot proposal will be critical. The disclosure should include the definite amenities, the location of the proposed Community Center (erect a sign and eliminate the guessing), and estimated membership fees for two adults and for a family of five should be included. Voters should realize the Community Center will not be a free swimming pool or child care facility.

Excelsior Springs was never the Valley of Vitality, nor was it the Haven of Health. The water is not the future… the people are the future.

Excelsior Springs needs to grow, but the growth should be based on a solid foundation.

-Brent Beckett

Migrant from California

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