As a private, concerned citizen, I am again compelled to respond to another childish editorial rant from The Bulletin. Case in point, the derogatory editorial this weekend about the Bend Parks and Recreation District's new office building. The editorial staff has been finding fault with this project from the very beginning - too much money, too close to the river, costly design, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.
The cost of constructing a building is more expensive than ten years ago. It is being built with a lot of "Green" designs into it, to save energy, make better use of light and is designed to last 50 years. The district has been using the present location for 40 years, and as the district has grown and had to spread office space around town. (In 1993 our local PFLAG group used to meet in their small community room, which is now Don Horton's office.) It is past the time to consolidate the personnel and office space in the name of efficiency. The district has been budgeting money for this office construction for a considerable time.
Some folks got their shorts in a twitch when the district put on hold the plans for another swimming/sports complex. As it turns out, THAT was a wise move. The new office is NEAR the river, NOT ON IT !! The river area is preserved for public use. The Bulletin whined and forced a building design change, which I and others were opposed to. Had I been in charge, I would have had a different answer for them.
They suggested that the district rent the office space, (from one of their development cronies?). Does The Bulletin rent their facility? Rent receipts are nothing more than wallpaper or expensive / scratchy toilet paper. Why didn't The Bulletin go on a rant about the additional $850,000 that had to be spent on the NEW Deschutes Services Building to bring it up to ADA standards, OR that the City of Bend had ignored ADA standards for over 17 years on building inspection standards, proper parking spaces and sidewalk installation and curb cuts. A few concerned disabled folks brought about a Department of Justice suit to correct this situation. Many building inspectors are/were qualified on fire standards because it is easier than ADA standards. Why hasn't the architectural community been more pro-active over all these years?
It appears that the loudest voice sets the pecking order. More folks need to speak up and question this practice. Everyone needs to be part of our community and create a better quality of life for all - not just the above-average income citizens.
Mike Lovely, Bend