After hearing the news about Prairie Creek and the $30,000.00 in revenue generated this season, it did my heart good. An astonishing thing to actually make money for the first time in 40 years. I was focusing only on the financial aspect, and how this will go a long way to help in balancing the budget. Then I had a a sudden intuitive leap of understanding , and “what if” flooded my thoughts.
After the mayor failed to re-appoint Ron Bonham, the newspaper was flooded with letters. You could hardly pick up the opinion page without finding dozens of letters condemning the mayor and her actions. What with broken piers, lack of fireworks, no lifeguards, and the beach not being open on the cold Memorial weekend, you would be led to believe Prairie Creek was soon to be a memory.
Every city council meeting included at least 10 minutes of tongue-lashing directed at the administration for the poor management of one of our most precious commodities. Even as a council member suggested these concerns should be directed to the parks board, he was lucky to get out of the meeting with his head still attached. He was scolded for the suggestion and reminded they (city council) IS the fiscal body and Prairie Creek was all about money, and according to her (the scolding member of city council), losing revenue. Keeping in mind the fiscal body was oblivious to the fact it has always lost revenue. So much time was devoted to piers and fishing holes, that most agreed with the council person’s suggestion on the park board handling the problems.
In 2007, Prairie Creek cost an additional $140,000; in 2008 it was around $84,000, until finally in 2009 we really did have revenue. The Mayor said her goal was to make it self-sustaining and with the competent people put in place, it happened. An extrodinary team of people, from the Mayor to the laborors working to achieve a common goal and reaching it. You can take it to the bank, it won’t stop there!
Now, you may be asking (or maybe not) just what does this have to do with the title of this post. I’m glad you asked. Getting to it, hang tight.
As I said earlier, I was all about the revenue generated. But, I believe there is a bigger picture. Despite the onslaught of letters, the negative press, and the desire of some to see PCR fail, and therefore painting the mayor as a completely incompetent leader. Against all odds, Prairie Creek has succeeded! It has surpassed even our wildest dreams of how PCR should run. Now instead of moaning about the park, we are expecting even greater things to be accomplished. For the first time we are seeing PCR as it should have always been and an excitement we have never before felt.
What if the administration had not spent so much time defending her actions and fighting the constant opposition created by a few and got down to business? What if those who worked so diligently to wage a war had used that same energy in a positive and constructive manner? I can tell you, it would not have taken nearly this long to get where PCR is today. Can we afford to waste any more time?
Can this same success flow to other areas of our city? Yes, it can. But first, we should divorce ourselves from the very people who worked so hard to keep PCR operating in failure mode. It is obvious; those very same people would rather see our community fail, then to become a thriving and vibrant city.
Keep this in mind, it is pure and unadulterated politics. When a political party fights so hard to keep our city from progressing, it doesn’t just hurt the mayor, it destroys the citizens. It is really up to us.
Don’t allow the negative influences to hold back Muncie. Her success is our success. Dream and strive for a better community. It will do you good.