Where’s the dough?

Lee's Summit JournalJuly 9, 2014 

If Clara Peller were alive today, perhaps she could rejuvenate her pitch career with a series of promotional ads geared toward the Lee’s Summit City Council.

In the mid-1980s, Peller was on every TV station stridently asking “Where’s the beef?”

Today, she would be just as adamant in her query in Lee’s Summit, asking elected officials and city leaders: “Where’s the dough?”

Peller would certainly be annoyed and intrigued about how the most recent proposal for the downtown Lee’s Summit outdoor performance space could reach upwards of $1 million when voters approved a $600,000 space in April of 2013.

Give that former Wendy’s pitchman a megaphone and a few TV spots. Then we will see what we can get done with this development.

Since we’ve sent the architectural team at Hollis+Miller back to the drawing board, again, they’ve come back with a plan as directed by the slight majority of the city council – a concept that demolishes Arnold Hall and vastly increases the size and scope of the downtown performance space.

Of course, for all the financial wizards at the dais, that also vastly increases the cost, too.

So, where exactly is the dough?

Well, some of it is in the Hollis+Miller coffers. And rightfully so since we keep asking them to switch up the game.

The rest of the dough, well, we will find out July 10 at the City Council meeting about where they plan to find it.

Is the dough at the Legacy Park project? I sure hope not.

Will it be at the expense of jobs at city hall, raises, retirements or somewhere else? Doubtful, but still a fair question.

Perhaps it will be as simple as tapping into our reserve funds.

I sincerely hope those that supported this hard left turn, including council member Bob Johnson, who is in the middle of a run for state office, are ready to explain where the money is coming from and why we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over what voters approved.

Many at council ask it all the time and demand an answer from city staff. Now it is time for voters to ask the same question.

Councilmen, where’s the dough?

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

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