In Other Words: Vision 2000 gets too much credit; a warning about 2020I laughed even before I read the article. I picked up the Saturday, July 25, edition of The Daily Republic. It was right there on the front page, a big picture of the Mitchell Aquatic Center and a picture of Jim Beddow next to it. I just knew that the article was going to give too much credit to the Vision 2000 committee for some of the projects completed during the last 10 years.
By: Terry Timmins, The Daily Republic
I laughed even before I read the article. I picked up the Saturday, July 25, edition of The Daily Republic. It was right there on the front page, a big picture of the Mitchell Aquatic Center and a picture of Jim Beddow next to it. I just knew that the article was going to give too much credit to the Vision 2000 committee for some of the projects completed during the last 10 years.
First of all, I want to admit that Vision 2000 did complete some good projects. One project that didn’t get mentioned in the article was the indoors ice rink. Dave Olson and all the hockey parents deserve a lot of credit for getting that project completed.
Let me refresh your memory about some of the things you may already know and inform you about things you may not know.
One of the very first achievements of Vision 2000 was to replace perfectly good street lights with the ones currently on Main Street. The old lights did a far better job than the current ones. This is the project that got me started attending City Council meetings.
The next project was the Indian Village Archeodome. Over 1,500 signatures on a petition stating opposition to the project was given to the City Council. Against strong opposition, the City Council went ahead with the project.
I feel that the news article gave too much credit to the Vision 2000 Committee for the Missouri River drinking water pipeline (B-Y Water Project). Not once did I see a Vision 2000 Committee member come before the City Council to push for this project. Bill Rubendall alone deserves credit for getting this project started. He brought the project to the City Council’s attention. He did the initial groundwork. Then the City Council, with the help of the department heads, spent months studying, revising and negotiating the completion of this project.
I also feel the news article gave the Vision 2000 Committee too much credit for the Mitchell Aquatic Center. Randy Ahrendt and the park board spent years trying to keep this project alive.
Once, the City Council gave approval to move ahead a committee of eight to 10 people spent months studying every aspect of the project. Thanks to them, Mitchell has a first-rate aquatic center.
People need to be warned about Vision 2020. I’m sure all the people on the Vision 2020 committees are very smart, dedicated people. They are the visionaries of the community. They are needed.
My warning is this: For the most part these people were not elected to their positions. We should not let Vision 2020 control our local government. Every citizen should have the right to bring a project before the City Council and to receive a fair hearing.
They should not have to run their project through Vision 2020 to get it approved.
Terry Timmins, of Mitchell, is a former member of the City Council. "In Other Words" features columns by local people with a special area of expertise.