Proposal submitted to HCSCC at 11:38 AM on June 10, 2013, click here. (pdf format file)
We're reaching out to all those in Houston who may have ideas, plans or the passion for preservation of The Dome for collaboration. If you are such a person (or know of someone) please send an email here or forward this link: http://www.servicesca.org/DomeCooperative.htm for the possibility of a seat on a Steering Committee, chaired by C. Dean Kring.
Reprinted Editorial - Houston Chronicle - Friday, June 21, 2013
Dome drama unfolds -
Writing in the stars seems to predict the Astrodome's inevitable destruction
It's ultimately trying to sell voters on a $194 million plan to
convert the Astrodome into a convention center. The members say this is the best idea to
meet the needs of Harris County, but we are not buying it. With a tight timeline and
utterly impractical funding requirements for private proposals, the die was already cast.
Of course the HCSCC's public option was going to win - it promulgated rules that
disqualified anything else. So instead we watched a well-rehearsed script as the
corporation went through the motions of soliciting private ideas, considering them under
the impossible guidelines set and then inevitably striking them down. The HCSCC instead
falls back on a public plan that seems strikingly similar to the one proposed in May 2012
- a proposal notably rejected at the time by County Commissioner Steve Radack. Mischief,
thou art afoot.
This isn't a convention center. It looks to us like a lamb that the county seeks to sacrifice without appearing like butchers. We'll see it on the ballot only with the intent of it being voted down. How long until the first voices from within county government condemn this plan as too expensive? Or unnecessary? Or requiring extra study? After all, why would a plan rejected a year ago suddenly become the best idea?
And once voters strike down the rather convenient convention idea, HCSCC has explicitly said that the next step is demolition. This has been the stated scheme since April. If public option fails, there is no room for another vote, no looking for new plans, only demolition. HCSCC says it's going to fix up the Dome into a new experience, but this feels more like the fix is in.
County commissioners need to come out and say now whether they will
support this plan or not come election day. The voters of Harris County deserve
transparency from them as well as from the Rodeo and the Texans, two other very interested
parties that play in a tax-subsidized facility. We're afraid opponents will bide their
time until election season and suddenly let loose a parade of horribles about every aspect
of this Dome decision process, and it'll be too late to do anything different.
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