Mackle Park Center: Scrubbing the Plan, part II

Marco’s City Manager Jim Riviere says it’s not too soon to talk about a new community center for Mackle Park. But does makes clear that it is premature to think that many of the plans, proposals and dreams of some advocates will survive a vigorous “scrubbing.”

That’s how he describes what he thinks is needed before an agreement can be reached — and a way to pay for it.

In our recent interview with Riviere we asked about several relevant issues.

n What about the drawings presented at a workshop and in the Eagle?

“Those pictures came out of that master plan back in January 2005, the dream days. The drawings are not representative of what would get authorized for a community center these days. Times have changed. Wishes have to be foregone.

“If you look at it from its basic structure, it would be a one-story affair, not a two-story affair. Two stories give you a multiplier on the cost of such a place and it wouldn’t be completely outfitted.”

n What about the idea floated that a builder from Rhode Island put it up and lease it back to the city. Where did that come from?

“You know it’s sort of a salvo that came in over the transom.”

n What about the question of bids on such a project? There was no mention of bids except from people who didn’t like the idea.

“The whole idea was to present a concept and it looked like it was a sales pitch, not an enlightenment pitch. I got the impression of the thing as more of a, ‘What do you think guys, shall we sit down and pen an agreement?’

“And I’m thinking to myself that there’s no agreement coming here. We’ve got years to work on this. We’ve got the community (that must first) express support for it. At that same meeting, people were looking around and later some people jumped up and said we were all crazy. There was no community voice in that room.”

n The proposal included a serious “teaching” kitchen. Why is it the city’s responsibility to teach people how to cook?

“It isn’t. It’s a youth program. These are all youths and it’s something they are all interested in. You have programs you can offer them. They elected not to play mah jong, but the older people did.”

n What if you built just a building with basic facilities?

“Hang on to that thought, basic facilities. We’re providing basic grounds right now; the Optimists are running the (youth sports) program and we’re providing them excellent baseball opportunities, excellent soccer and football opportunities. We don’t have basketball capability, because we don’t have a gymnasium. We may never have a gymnasium. There’s a pickup, you can go half court out there in that little covered area there but that’s not really acceptable.”

n Some people believe the grandiose plans for a community center are part of a secret plan to provide facilities for the proposed charter high school. Your thoughts?

“I guess it would be reasonable if you believe they have the clout to do that. I don’t believe they have the clout to do that.”

n What about the high school effort in general?

“It’s an important subject to discuss, the education of the children on the Island, but are you building an educational facility to attract people to the Island?

“I’ve heard a dissertation from someone who I believe had one foot on the stage of the Board of Realtors and one foot on the stage of the charter school.

“They talked about what a panacea this would be if we had a high school here, that people would swarm to here and our real estate property (values) would go up and it would all be in such demand that people would be bidding for property on the Island.

“It was an absurd presentation of what could result from this.”

Riviere recalled a particular issue when he was on the city’s planning board.

“Back when the Baptists wanted to put in a high school, I don’t recall a single person coming up and yelling that the Island was going to sink or the world would come to an end or that they made too much noise or anything about that high school at the Baptist church. What is the difference?”

The question arose of how the city manager deals with opinions expressed in blogs.

“My policy is not to read blogs and not to read letters to the editor. That makes my day happier and my caffeine level doesn’t have to be so high to survive.”

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 10

MarcoCitizen writes:

“My policy is not to read blogs and not to read letters to the editor. That makes my day happier and my caffeine level doesn’t have to be so high to survive.”

That's good Jim. Just sit around in a vacuum and ignore the public and the press and maybe we'll go away - or maybe you'll go away.

ed34145 writes:

If JR doesn't know the difference between a private school at the Baptist church and a public charter school, then he shouldn't be attempting to manage a city. Guess that's what occurs when there is lack of education, training, and experience for a job one is trying to perform.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

"My policy is not to read blogs and not to read letters to the editor. That makes my day happier and my caffine level doesn't have to be so high to survive."
Quagmire reads every post!

lauralbi1 writes:

Dear Jim: I am one of your most fervent supporters. But for you to question the clout of the MIA, when they have the support of the entire Council, is really absurd. I know you don't read this, so we, the citizens, will make it easy for you and Council.

Soon there will be a Petition, for a vote in 2012 on the Ballot, that will eliminate this possibility and establish parameters for the school, should it become permanent.
Ed Issler

marcofriend writes:

Jim Riviere.....It appears to me that you are back pedalling because of the heat this issue brought to the forefront. At the workshop neither you, nor your Director of Parks and Recs said that this was just reiterating the Master Plan from 2005. He spoke very much for it, Ms DiSciullo did not speak of a "future dream", it was the design presented that the young archetect (who was a young kid from Marco just a few years ago) spoke about being a reality quickly. Frank Recker said that he didn't need to go to the people (after all we build new water and sewer plants for $200 million) without referendum. He just said let's jam it down their throats because we like it.
No back room politics? I've got a bridge to sell you too.................(not Obama's).
As a Jim Riviere supporter, I agree that it is now time for him to depart. He is being less than honest and we're tired of our City working that way.

ajm3s writes:

Another enlightened quote from our manager and quite a beauty:

“Back when the Baptists wanted to put in a high school, I don’t recall a single person coming up and yelling that the Island was going to sink or the world would come to an end or that they made too much noise or anything about that high school at the Baptist church. What is the difference?”

Answer: Private vs public!

And continuing on the Baptist theme, I recommend the city look at what private donated monies can create. Is that possible with the new Community Center? Ms. DeScuillo was quick to point out in her last email to friends, the successful fund raising efforts that she heads under the Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Oh, as an aside, Ms. DeScuillo hails from Rhode Island, the land of the far left with a touch of fiscal irresponsibility. Is there a connection? Well, having been born and raised in Rhode Island, in the beautiful city of Woonsocket, let me say corruption is alive and well.

The difference between corruption in Rhode Island and Marco Island: Rhode Islanders provide direct payments to elected officials. Whereas, Marco Island prefers the indirect approach, i.e through engineering consulting firms. At least in Rhode Island, through decades of experience, we believe in efficient corruption, no middle man required, a simple sealed envelope to a high elected official will suffice. We love you Buddy!

Now back to the Baptists. Go check out their facility which has an excellent hall with all the accouterments. I did not hear of any cost to the taxpayers for such a facility, yet it is offered to several non-profit groups for speakers. In fact, the last noted speaker was our own Dr. Sanchez, making the point that America and Cuba have quite a list of similarities with government solutions to "resolve" the inequities of everyday life.

Marco Island is so rich and diverse and it offers as examples: Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Riviere. I can only hope that America will be lead more by a Dr. Sanchez than a Dr.Riviere. I for one, believe Dr. Sanchez understands the meaning of liberty, and the erosion of personal responsibility or impact of charitable contributions of private organizations.

And all this in a Baptist school with a kitchen and cafeteria. Is there a moral to this story? A religious overtone?

Perhaps, the Eagle has landed and the questions are starting to fly out out of the press. And time to feed the masses with the truth.

If you believe the new Community Center was in the early planning stages, as told by Dr. Riviere, I say bullcrap.

Wake up Marco Island. Good Morning Taxpayers.

MarcoCitizen writes:

I have begun to wonder, based on the City Manager's remarks, whether the City Council has the same arrogant attitude towards the press and blogs, by conscientiously ignoring them.

Is the entire City, management,staff and elected supervision immune, via their ivory tower, to public opinion noise?

Let's hear from the agenda setting City Council Chairman, and other council members where they stands on spending reduction, fiscal responsibility, and the Mackle Extravaganza.

RayPray writes:

One further benefit of the Ocean State mode of democracy:

http://www.food.com/recipe/buddy-cian...

Seriously, though, the Jim Rivera I used to know was your typical 'Hail Fellow Well Met'.

But that was before he deliquesced into a Doctor of Philosophy.

This took a tremendous bite out of him.

Why, it cost him almost 3 weekends and 4 postage stamps.

After thus almost magically metamorphosing into his new metaphysical empyrean, it seemed almost a newly-minted DOCTOR Rivera came to believe that, metaphorically, his sweat didn't dribble and sink....

ajm3s writes:

in response to RayPray:

One further benefit of the Ocean State mode of democracy:

http://www.food.com/recipe/buddy-cian...

Seriously, though, the Jim Rivera I used to know was your typical 'Hail Fellow Well Met'.

But that was before he deliquesced into a Doctor of Philosophy.

This took a tremendous bite out of him.

Why, it cost him almost 3 weekends and 4 postage stamps.

After thus almost magically metamorphosing into his new metaphysical empyrean, it seemed almost a newly-minted DOCTOR Rivera came to believe that, metaphorically, his sweat didn't dribble and sink....

Hey, whadda ya talking about? Buddy, can ya passa the sauce. [my attempt at a Goodfellas dialect]

Good rebuttal!

dc5799 writes:

Is there any proof of a connection between Ms DiSciullo and Mills Gilbane Construction Co from Rhode Island?
If not let it go away enough inuendos.

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