You know I can’t help but hammer the El Dorado Economic Development Board, or the Gang of Five, as I call them. What I am writing about today is old news. I guess you know the Gang of Five came straight from the Chamber of Commerce—hand picked—even the Chairman was selected. Of course, these are decent guys, and you probable wouldn’t have a problem in taking any one of them out to dinner. So what am I whining about?
(1) No women on the board: actually I tried to change the makeup before the board was approved by the City Council to add two women, but the good old boys out-maneuvered me.
(2) This is a city tax and it is city money, and all the board members do not live in the city limits of El Dorado.
(3) All of the city wards aren’t represented.
(4) The selection of the board was not an open forum where other men or women in the community could be considered.
And here is the biggie: The board has rotating terms and as a board member’s term expires they re-nominate themselves.
After three years and 5 re-nominations we still don’t have a woman on the board. Just recently one of the board’s term expired, and I nominated four women to be considered. The good old boys dumped the ladies and renominated the board member to another three year term.
Ladies, your grandmothers’ marched in the streets to demand the right to vote. I think it is time to march down to city hall and attend a council meeting or an EEDB meeting and raise a little hell. I think it is a disgrace for an all male board to decide how to spend 35 million dollars without the input of over 50% of the city’s population.
Ladies, it is time to start your engines!
What? Yep, we have really got a big secret here in El Dorado; a 17 million edifice that we must be trying to hide. Yes, as strange as that may sound, it is true. Recently, I had a person from out of town ask me where the Conference Center was located. Of course, I pointed to the mega building over on South West Avenue.
”Oh,” he said, “I though that was part of the College. I didn’t see any sign saying it was the Conference Center.”
Well, yes, there is signage. I know that for a fact. So I drove by and checked out why a person would miss the sign. A quick look and the answer was obvious. Some dummy put white letters on a light gray sign. It is just one step from being invisible. You have to be almost right on the sign to read it, and if you are driving by you had better look hard and quick. What on earth were the people who spent the 17 million thinking? Now, I am not a graphic expert, but I can tell you this: black letters should go on a light gray sign—not white. And while you guys are changing out the letters on the sign, how about spend another $250 to cut down the 5 dead trees in front of the Center?
Well, I am tickled about the new sound upgrade for the Center. The current one must have been put in by the McDonald’s drive-through engineers.
Yes, believe it or not the Gang of Five—the El Dorado Economic Board—is hot get a 100 room downtown hotel built with ?Taxpayers money? We’re not sure how they are going to pay for it, but hold on to your billfolds. They have asked for “Qualifications” a first step in awarding a contract.
Here we go again; ignoring a report by our Destination Consultant, Roger Brooks. We are really good at paying thousands of dollars to experts and then ignoring their recommendations. Do you think that has anything to do with our loss of population and jobs?
Building a new hotel before we create a reason for visiting El Dorado will just draw customers from existing hotels and motels.
But why should we expect anything different from a board who blew nearly $100,000 on billboards that said, “If you have the idea, we have the money.”—or something like that.
Maybe the upcoming oil boom of the Smackover Brown Dense will save us. I sure don’t have any confidence in the Gang of Five—EEDB.
See my blog on the Brown Dense for more about the forthcoming boom.
Yes my old school is and I guess always has been for sale. Of course the latest sale is for the ‘official’ soft drink—out goes Coke and here comes Pepsi to the tune of an estimated 20 mil to the good old U of A. Well, what’s next? I have some ideas:
(1) How about the ‘official’ Bailbondsman for the Hogs Football team?
(2) Or the ‘official’ chewing tobacco for the Baseball team–sounds like a natural for Red Man.
(3) The soft drink is taken, but how about the ‘official’ hard drink? Surely big vodka will drop a few million for the title—remember Purple Passion?
But I’m thinking bigger.
What about renaming Old Main? Yep, for a 100 mil or so it could be renamed Old Sam or maybe Old Frank.
I’m thinking about naming rights for Senior Walk. I can see it now; “Richard’s Senior Walk.”
Of course, I’m sure you have some ideas to help raise a few bucks. After all, as the singer in Cabraret said it’s “Money! Money! Money!