I must commend the council on agreeing to evaluate the remaining three sites for the new Vermillion City Hall on an even basis by seeking professional help, but I was alarmed at the focus of what some comments of the council were as they referred to having a "Signature Building," a building that makes a "statement" something that would make the community proud. There was, however, no discussion of building a city hall that would be the most effective building in delivery of city services. A building that would allow all city employees the opportunity to be the most effective they can.
Instead the discussion was that there could be some offices for a few management employees, and an open area with cubicles. Should the focus not be on providing a workplace for each department of the city to deliver and provide the most effective production they can? Does the engineering department have all the filing space and technology access that is needed? Do the frontline people have adequate space for providing customer service and yet have space for workflow to effectively make them as productive as possible? Each department being effective makes a "statement" much larger than any grand building facade.
My alarm is that I do not believe the premise that a grand signature building that makes a "statement" located in just a one or two block area of Vermillion will in any way enhance the city's ability to attract new businesses or people or even maintain a good business district in downtown Vermillion; only a well run viable business with the right niche market can do that.
I can just visualize a CEO of a company needing to expand or relocate sitting in his board room with all his board and top advisors stating, "go forth into the land and find me a city with the ?grandest city hall building' you can find and that is where we will locate." (Did Polaris and other companies do this when they located here? I don't think so).
I believe he would direct them to go forth and find a city that has the grandest water department that has the best people to provide the safest water; street department that is very effective in maintenance and upkeep; low cost of, and delivery of utilities; recreational opportunities for his employees so that he can maintain and retain his valued employees; city leadership that is enhancing and supportive of the growth of existing businesses as well as new businesses by being forward looking of their needs; location and access to roadways for transportation of their goods and services; and the list would go on and on, and I believe no where would there be a requirement of being sure we have a "signature city hall."
I hope that when the council goes to a design phase that their focus would change from having a building that makes them feel good (as in putting up a monument) and they would move into the future and place themselves into a mind set of a CEO of a corporation, and make decisions that would be the most effective utilizations of funds they control.
I can visualize any business or person having a favorable feeling to Vermillion if they were to see the city build the most efficient city hall building they can, and quite possibly utilizing any excess funds to pursue building electrical wind generating systems of the bluffs north of Vermillion. They could be placed on the landfill property the city already owns and would not impact next door neighbors as new developments will probably not occur there for many many years.
There are grants available for feasibility studies. This would send a message that our leadership is leading us effectively and efficiently by trying to find ways to lower our electrical costs, and offer our citizens something that many other cities can not. We have all the necessary ingredients for leadership to pursue this: land, available technology, and proximity to a free natural resource (wind).
Harlan F. Schott
To the editor:
I had just attended the Friday pep rally at VHS. When walking out of the gym, I realized that I wasn't so "pepped" up. I thought awhile about why I felt this way, and realized there was something missing at the pep rally. The cheerleaders.
The idea of no cheerleaders at your homecoming pep rally made no sense at all to me. Having been a cheerleader for the past three years at VHS, I notice little things like this. Yes, I know we are not "top-of-the-line" cheerleaders, but we are out there for a reason. To cheer on and support your children, grandchildren, peers and students. I don't find it fair to cause a huge uproar with the opt-out, and still cut the cheerleading program because the district decided not to have the sport anymore.
The cheerleaders get cut, and the football team gets new uniforms. There's something wrong with that picture. We bought new bleachers because of a safety reason, yet all our crowd is going to do is sit on them, rather than cheering for the team, because well, there's no one to lead them.
I find it embarrassing at games to have no cheerleaders. The students have to make themselves cheer the team on, and it's just not the same. When attending the past few football games, our school looked like nothing compared to the other team. Students were sitting, along with parents, with no expressions at all. The time-outs were silent, except when the other team was up cheering their team on. I've had countless students, teachers and parents asking me where the cheerleaders are. I'm at a loss when I cannot answer them.
We just bought new uniforms two years ago, and now are unavailable to use them. They now sit in a box in some storage area. Is that how the school should be spending their money? To store several $200 outfits not to be used again? I sure don't think so. If you feel the same way about this subject, do what I did; express your feelings to a school board member. Let's get the ball rolling in time for basketball season.
Please bring cheerleading back to VHS; we're all at a true "loss" without them. Our school song says "We will cheer the team and back them up, forever with our loyalty." So let's do so. Go Tanagers.