More on The Confluence Project

Dear Fellow Citizens:

This {Friday} 12/13, several callers to WAYY AM790 stated there is a blog written by our City Manager, saying that the citizens who are circulating a petition for a referendum on any city project calling for spending a million dollars or more on any arts or entertainment venue were “SELFISH.”

I have attached a link to Russ VanGompel’s Blog. While I have stated that political statements by Non-Elected officials are ill advised, I however find no problem and in fact agree with what Russ detailed. Nowhere do I find the statement SELFISH or MEAN-SPIRITED in this blog.

I was for a non-binding REFERENDUM for THE JUSTICE CTR after a lengthly amount of time spent informing the public.  There are certain items that would benefit from one when it is clearly written and specific. That however is not the case in the wording of this one.

I do not feel we need a REFERENDUM on every single project. I believe in Public/Private Partnerships and I certainly am for PROGRESS.  We have talked about revitalizing our downtown for the nearly-38 years I have lived here. Let’s move forward…….not backward.

Like The Uniroyal Tire Plant…London Square Mall…and even the Civic Center and The State Theatre…these served a purpose for a period of time and then we moved on, or should to newer better things. It’s called PROGRESS.

As far as The University, community changes have transpired and others in the future {Zorn Arena} will someday be replaced I feel.  Eau Claire will never be a major Convention Hub…Why?  Organizations based in Madison and Milwaukee feel we are a suburb of Minneapolis…too far away…{they think Superior is part of Canada}. The Wisconsin Broadcasters Summer Convention has been in Eau Claire twice in over 60 years and LaCrosse Twice.  But a Confluence Center will draw people from at least 100 miles or more.  It will benefit the entire county and the Chippewa Valley.  It will attract smaller conventions to our area, however…If we build a convention center, it should be off I-94 somewhere near the New Holiday Inn area.

In summarizing, read Russ Van Gompel’s Blog with an open mind.

Submitted by Marty Green