LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Posted In: Politics, Local, Opinion,   From Issue 709   By: Review Magazine

12th August, 2010     0

I liked your article last issue relating to the Showmobile. I spoke to the council on the matter. I too wondered the urgency and when e-bay became the arbiter of the value of anything. The City pretends to have a staff capable of assessing the value of millions of dollars of personal property for taxing purposes, so one wonders why they couldn’t then have determined a value of the steel Showmobile without resorting to a limited auction venue.

You indicated that PRIDE was a part of acquiring the unit in the ‘70s. My recollection is that the drive for a Showmobile was instigated by Sam Ellis, a Second National Bank Vice-President, who every active in the arts, expressed concern about the deterioration of the band shell on Ojibway and its safety for use by the Eddy Band. A close friend of Ed Tabaka, once head of the Saginaw Parks & Recreation, he learned that money was available from the income on a Park’s fund. He understood that around $15,000 was available and so solicited the Morley Foundation and the SNB Trust Department for an additional $15,000 to acquire the portage stage. My earliest memory of its use was by the Eddy Band at a concert held in the Arthur Hill Football stadium. I’m not sure that PRIDE existed in 1976.

An acquaintance told me that one of the same vintage as our Showmobile, but obviously maintained better, recently sold for around $50,000. If this were so, then the City’s vehicle would have been worth $20,000 to $25,000.

One who should know said that City Officials offered to close Water Street and deed the land to the river to the Shaheens when they acquired property to build the MCVI building. Sam was surprised by the offer and naturally accepted – thus precluding the possibility of a River Drive on either side of the Saginaw River from Downtown, since Niagara was closed for Thompson’s. No worries of violation of City or State policy in those instances.

The problem in my view is that no one in the administration of the City has a vested interest in the City other than their positions or their pensions. One informant told me that there were only 28 city hall employees who were city residents, something you may want to look into and verify.

I very often review the list of members and/or contributors listed in concert/theater programs for the names of council members of City Managers. One seldom sees one listed or even in the audience. The only City Managers I have seen at concerts in many years were Tom Dalton and Marvin Baldwin. No school superintendents, either, since Jack Taylor.

I was dismayed to review the campaign literature distributed by candidate Stacy Oakes. She boasts of raising an abandoned bowling alley, however this enhances her candidacy. I suspect she meant razing such a building. But then she is a product of the Saginaw School system. I’m not sure of her Law School or School of Education.

Sincerely,

Harold E. Evans
Saginaw, MI

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