Question: What you meant by “finding a non-referendum method of improving our Community Center”? What ideas do you have for funding these improvements? -Annette
Answer: Thank you for the question, Annette! A large group of folks and I worked very hard last year to pass a referendum that would have funded additions to our Community Center. It would have added a Senior Center, expanded the Fitness Center and built a 2nd Sheet of Ice.
Referendums have tried and failed many times for improving our community center. Our opponent was a great supporter of the referendum. However, he refused to take a public stance, put up a lawn sign or write a letter to the editor. He even went as far as to tell me that he is
an elected official and can’t take a public stance.
I vehemently disagree. We need a mayor who will lead, stand up for what they believe in and state their views publicly so everyone know the vision and direction of the city’s leadership.
There are many other ways of improving our Community Center. Here are my top 3:
- Contrary to common belief, Shakopee is in a very good financial position. With leadership, we could pay cash for improvements at the Community Center without impacting our reserves.
- Now is the time to look to the future. A turf bubble and a sheet of ice will generate revenue that can be used to fund other non-revenue-generating – but necessary – projects like a Senior Center. I will fight and make the case that these can be built as a great business decision for the future of Shakopee. It will bring jobs, keep money in Shakopee and promote sports tourism with tournaments and events.
- Currently, we do not actively seek a significant number of grants, donations and sponsors that could be used to help fund Community Center improvements of all kinds. To do this, I will push for Park and Recreation to be fully staffed along with opening dialogue with business and government partners to get more done for Shakopee.