IS IT TRUE? January 29 – 30, 2011


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? January 29-30, 2011

IS IT TRUE that SMG lost the bid to be the events promoter at the new Downtown Evansville Arena? ….that this decision hasn’t sat well with at least 7 of 9 members of the Evansville City Council?….that a possible political battle looms between City Council members and the Mayor?…that we suggest you stay turned and sit back and watch for political fall out over this extremely unpopular decision and for the choice “word bomb” that has allegedly been hurled at some elected officials by another one?

IS IT TRUE that the Aces game (another victory) last night went off without a hitch and that a concert by Avenged Sevenfold will do the same tonight?…that SMG has mastered the art of doing several tasks at once and knows the right people in the Evansville market to get things done without making a lot of noise?…that the opening song by Avenged Sevenfold tonight with be “Nightmare” with its oh so locally appropriate chorus “Its Your “word bomb” Nightmare”?

IS IT TRUE that Mayor Weinzapfel and his hand picked committee have decided that VenuWorks of Ames, Iowa will be the managers of the new Evansville Arena?…that if you want to know more about VenuWorks that the link is right here? ?…..that 7 of the 8 members of the Evansville City Council that have been contacted support SMG and not the Mayor’s choice to take on this task?…that this discussion will get even livelier as we get to watch whether the Mayor’s committee or the Evansville City Council manages the affairs of the City of Evansville?

IS IT TRUE that you should not be surprised to read that the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau shall change attorneys and advertising agency but keep its Acting Director, Bob Whitehouse? ….that you should not be surprised to hear that the search for a new Executive Director shall be put on hold until after May or June in order that the new board can give Mr. Whitehouse an opportunity to prove if he is capable of become the permanent Executive Director of this organization?

IS IT TRUE that the nearly year long search for an Executive Director for the ECVB has already cost about $30,000?…that included both professional fees and interview costs?…that those $30,000 have produced exactly no candidates that want this job given the current state of affairs?…that a Google search using the words “Evansville CVB” or “CVB Executive Director” do not produce results that make an attractive picture of life in river city?…that if Acting Director Bob Whitehouse proves himself worthy and up to the task that he Evansville CVB can save that next $30,000 plus search for sometime well into the future?


IS IT TRUE that the park on the corner of 4th St. and Main in downtown Evansville is up for sale?…that after many months there are no offers?…that the Kempf family owns the prime corner of the park and that Old National Bank owns the remainder of the quarter of an acre parcel?…that downtown parks add vitality to urban areas as no other well kept feature can?…that cities are known for how they treat their parks?…that the Kempf family would like to see this remain a park?…that well over 50% of the available office space in downtown Evansville is now vacant including many Main Street storefronts?

IS IT TRUE that one more vacant building at the expense of the park would ad no value to downtown Evansville from an aesthetics perspective?…that ONB has publically talked about the financial burden that keeping the park up places on them?…that mowing a quarter of an acre is a financial burden that nearly every homeowner of all economic classes seems to be able to deal with?…that mowing such a lot and trimming the landscaping should cost no more than $100 per week during the mowing season?…that that would amount to a whopping $2,600 per year?…that the City of Evansville should just take over the responsibility for mowing the park and enable downtown Evansville to keep this Main facing green space?

IS IT TRUE that the parks of Evansville have more problems than the fact that ONB wants to convert it’s “non-performing asset park” into US currency?…that last fall Dr. Neil Troost stood before the Evansville City Council to advise them that his 6 year old daughter had been stuck with a discarded hypodermic needle while playing in Sunset Park?…that Dr. Troost has started a campaign to get the attention of the Evansville administration to do something to improve the safety at Evansville’s public parks?…that 10 weeks after requesting a meeting with the City of Evansville Parks and Recreation Department he had not heard a word from them?

IS IT TRUE that last week Dr. Troost let it be known that he would be bringing this subject up at a public meeting on Wednesday February 2nd?…that upon hearing about Dr. Troost’s plans to make this more public than he has already that the Parks and Recreation Department has now offered to meet with him privately?…that the condition attached to the meeting has been alleged to be that he abandon his plans to bring up the state of the parks of Evansville in a public meeting?…that it is a sad day in river city when a parent can’t get the attention of the City of Evansville for 10 weeks when needles that were most likely discarded by drug addicts are littering children’s play areas in public parks?…it is even a sadder day if it is really true that silencing someone’s first amendment rights are a condition for an audience with the parks board?…there will be an update to this soon to call upon the concerned citizens of Evansville to support Dr. Troost in his crusade to get our City Administration off its backside and make Evansville’s park system something safe that we can be proud of?

IS IT TRUE that entrepreneurship in government is a rare commodity?…that the State of Hawaii has positioned itself to capitalize on the paranoia of millions of Americans who are not convinced that President Obama is a native born citizen?…that for a fee of $100 subject to approval of the legislature of the State of Hawaii the doubters among us can satisfy their curiosity and order a suitable for framing birth certificate of one Barack Hussein Obama II who was born in our 50th state and went on to become President of the United States?…that this would make a fine gift for family members who doubt the origin of President Obama’s birth?


  1. Why doesn’t the EVSC or the EVSC Foundation buy the park (and use it as an outdoor classroom for Signature School) and then stay in their perfectly fine Administration Building which would save over $6 million dollars compared to their current plans.

  2. I disagree with asking the City of Evansville to maintain privately owned property, whether it be the lot at 4th and Main or any other private lot. When DMD has to cut weeds or address other code violations on private property, the owner is billed and deliquent billings are attached as tax liens.

    A better solution is for a private entity to adopt the spot as a “greenscape” under the Keep Evansville Beautiful program like many other similar plots of land already are adopted or soon will be adopted. In fact, there are parcels owned by the Parks Department that private entities have taken on as greenscapes, and that is a much better solution in many instances than having the Parks Department, already strapped by budget and personnel cuts, do their drive by, cut and let lay, hay mowing operations.

      • Actually the fact that a Billion dollar bank has decided that they do not want to deal with the burdens of keeping up this park pretty much justifies the need for such parks to be public. There are actually some things that government can (or at least should) do better than private enterprise and maintaining public parks is one of them. Perhaps the City of Evansville could lease the park for $1 per year for a long long time and assure that there is a downtown greenspace in Evansville forever. I cannot imagine the great parks in America’s cities being privatized and subject to the whims of markets for maintenance and boards of directors seeking profits for leadership.

        • Actually parks in the city and county are poorly maintained. Theory may be that government can do a better job of park maintenance, but reality here is just the opposite.

        • A “billion dollar bank” is not better than Joe Schmoe the slum lord. If they cannot maintain property they own, and that property gets out of compliance with applicable code, send in the mowing crews or whomever and attach the bill as a tax lien.

          Yes, many municipalities “can do better than private enterprise (at) and maintaining public parks.” Is this one of those municipalities, you thing? Uh, refer to your statements in the article above about Dr. Troost v the Parks Board.

          Besides, my point was that the Evansville Parks Department has reduced its parks maintenance staff to a skeleton crew who can barely maintain existing parks property complaint with the city’s weed code. My suggestion still stands. Someone volunteer to lease the park from the owners for $1 a year, and maintain it as a greenscape under the KEB program. Is there a downtown merchants association, or group of downtown lawyers or tavern and club owners up to the task?

          • Maybe something like you are talking about is in the works. Hope so. The gutting of the parks maintenance staff and the elimination of the rangers were both poor public policy. Evansville has in theory a well laid out park system but without maintenance and direction the parks are just big abandoned lots. Pity.

  3. If the Dr. Troost thing is real (and I’d like to see some more evidence before supporting it), than we need to have some of the board members resign. Can we really tolerate a board willing to meet with a citizen only if they are willing to waive their open meeting privileges?

    The Canal that was in the 2001 master plan has and always will be the solution to fixing downtown, Main St., and the surrounding area. If built, the Canal will bring residents and tourists from all over and we will see a completely different downtown than what we see now. That includes the park.

    Question: When the new ONB building was proposed wasn’t it originally 32 stories instead of the current 8? Now that it’s only 8 why did they move and why do they still own the old building? Lastly, why can’t we move a high school or civic center inside of the old ONB building?

  4. Isn’t it also true that Weinzapfel has followed in step with San Francisco, and Mayor Newsom down this “entrepreneurial” banking path?


    Isn’t it possible that discussions of “good public policy”, need to address the full extent of the public-private relationship here? (Especially *new* drains on the resources of ONB to alleviate the public guilt, San Francisco style, imposed by government?)

  5. I think it would be advantageous if before the issue of selecting a “events promoter” for the new downtown arena, or for any our publicly owned entertainment facilities, the people involved in the process would make their due diligence findings public.

    A quick search for information on the new choice, Venue Works, reveals some disturbing information.

    This company also decided to purchase what could be classified as a competing facility just 15 miles from one they were under contract to manage!

    Are the choices of available management companies so limited? How was this selection process conducted?


  6. Izzut true that Venuworks has several arenas with ice HOCKEY teams? Men’s and WOMEN’s Hockey! That de Mayah is determined we will like ice hockey? That the rest of their offerings are the same old shows that SMG books?

    Izzut true that de Mayah listened to the locals complaining about the entertainers booked by SMG who cancelled their shows for any number of reasons?

    Izzut true that the cancellations were because the advance ticket sales were too low, especially in a space as small as the Centre?

    Izzut true that the entertainers don’t travel the country just for fun, they do it to make money? No ticket sales, no show. They know what percentage of the seats should be sold at any time.

    Izzut true that people who want to be entertained say the prices are too high, with the fees SMG charges, or the entertainment wasn’t what they wanted to see?

    Did de Mayah request any bids? If he didn’t, does must think his middle name is Bertram? 🙂

    Izzut true that a large number of people who go to Roberts won’t go to the arena regardless who is booking the acts?

    If Louisville could name their arena “YUM”, why not name Mayah Jon’s, “The YUCK”?

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