You would have to be living under a rock not to know about the Event Center vote on November 8th. Clearly this community is engaged in the debate and it isn't very pretty or polite anymore. What keeps popping up over and over again are the great justifications for building it now.
1. We have talked about it for 10 years, we just need to build it now.
2. Costs continue to go up, so we need to build it now.
3. The interest rates are low, we just need to build it now.
4. We will never agree on a location, time, or financing, we just need to build it now.
5. The economy is picking up, we just need to build it now.
6. The Black Eyed Peas passed us up because the Arena wasn't up to their standards.
I don't think there is anyone in the community who really believes the Arena is a satisfactory concert venue. It is outdated, uncomfortable, with poor acoustics. This city needs a new concert center. Even the people in opposition to the current plan know that. The disagreement is how to get it done and get it done right. The mayor has his plan. He has the bully pulpit and the money to get out his message out to the masses. The opposition has used blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and a small organization with one speaker and no money. It is truly a David and Goliath scenario.
People are right, we have talked about the concept of building an event center for the past 10 years but there has never been the depth of discussion and debate until now. We have the mayor to thank for bringing it to this discussion and debate stage. The problem is the discussion and debate came after the mayor decided it was my way or the highway event center plan. Discussion closed. Debate over. Vote yes and if you don't, you have no vision, are backward thinkers and just want to hurt the mayor and make it personal.
Now, people who are vocal in opposition to the mayor's plan are being intimidated into silence, told to be quiet on Facebook, be careful what you say publicly because your reputation is on the line. Threats, intimidation and bullying is no way to win the debate. This thing may pass, but at what cost? The split in this community is unpalatable.