And, behind Door No. 3…

Kansas City StarSeptember 20, 2013 

I can’t help but think of those wonderful game shows I grew up watching in the 80s as I ponder what will happen with the land deal and outdoor performance space that was part of the successful bond in April.

It’s a little bit of “Let’s Make a Deal,” “Jeopardy,” “Press Your Luck,” and “The Price is Right” all rolled up in one.

Because, really, behind any of the three doors is going to be risk, reward, payouts and potential for our downtown community.

It’s a gamble, like any land deal.

As City Manager Steve Arbo deftly pointed out at the performance space charette this week, we are now all seeing, up close, the intricate unsightliness that sometimes accompanies a land deal.

Purchasing the plot of land we need to move forward with a plan to build a downtown performance space, enhance the arts and open up a remodeled and vibrant historical museum is, perhaps, like one of those 70s or 80s game shows.

If this were “Match Game,” we’d probably ask, “The City of Lee’s Summit wants this land so badly, they will (blank) to get it.”

Or, “Land owner Dusty Dahmer owes so much money on this land, he would sell it for (blank) just to stop paying taxes.”

We couldn’t take this land deal to Bob Barker’s set, however, because there just wouldn’t be enough room for the cultural arts task force, Foundations for our Future, the Historical Society and City Hall all on one stage.

Maybe we could just construct a big wheel of our own, paint it about 20 different colors, slap on some prices that range from $180,000 to $300,000 and just spin and see where this all shakes out.

Then, Dahmer and city hall could play a quick game of Plinko, head to the showcase showdown and then go hug Barker and his beauties and call it a day.

Better yet, we could just settle this “Family Feud” style.

All kidding aside, I sincerely hope the deals, bargains, jeopardy, feuds and pressing of our luck subsides soon.

Because, frankly, we’ve heard this song before.

And I can name it in about three notes: “Land of Confusion,” by Genesis.


John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lee’s Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail

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