Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Jack Wagner says - keep eye on the ball.

Jack Wagner doesn't get it.

On the Marty Griffin Show, KDKA-1020, Auditor General Jack Wagner said, "We have to keep our eye on the ball. That ball is getting a new arena for the Penguins and keeping the Penguins here."


The goal is more about being a place where freedom resides. We need to be free and folks should be free to watch the Penguins too. We need to have flow from our infrastructure so the free people can get from place to place. We have to keep our eye on the ball with the future for our children.

Giving $290-million to Mario today, so he can build a new arena today, is NOT going to do jack for our children. We'll be in the same situations in another 10 years, held hostage (not free) by the sports teams and buzz nuts who want to 'churn facilities.'

Let's keep our eye on the ball, Jack. But it isn't about Mario's new arena. It is about doing the right things. It is about doing the best things. It is about being free, building flow, thinking of the future.

I sent this email to Marty:

I agree with you that the Pens presently have a sweet deal on the table concerning the amounts of money offered within Plan B and PA's public treasury.

Nonetheless, a switch in the coversation is in order. You could help -- rather than driving a wedge into the discussion and Pens' fans the community.

Mario's perspectives are bound tightly to hockey game income because everyone is talking only about a possibility of a new arena in the same vicinity of the Civic Arena site -- the Hill District. The Hill wasn't deemed to be the best location for the new slots parlor, nor is that part of the city the best place for a new arena.

The upside for Mario climbs greatly, giving the Pens a sweeter deal, when we talk of the vision of building a new arena where land is plentiful, cheap and where expansion is desired -- near the Pittsburgh Airport.

Then everyone wins -- Hill District, historic preservationists, city, county, region, state, and NHL -- and Mario, of course.

Think of a Penguins Village with new arena, high-rise housing, buziness park, much like an Olympic Village.

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