The Jake Files

April 14, 2006

City Hall or Taj Mahal?

I haven't kept up on the issue of City Hall placement, but Jeff Weninger has:

The consultant hired to recommend a downtown site for a City Hall in Chandler has settled on a spot. RNL Designs plans to recommend later this month that a City Hall and council chambers be built on the northeast and southeast corners of Arizona Avenue and Chicago Street.

But the recommendation will likely draw fire from some on the City Council now and at least one candidate running for a seat in May.

“Government can be kind of full of themselves,” said council candidate Jeff Weninger. “They think they need a Taj Mahal right on Arizona Avenue.”

Weninger, a Chandler business owner, has been critical of what’s been dubbed the Chicago Street site in recent months because it would “take away prime real estate that could be generating tax dollars,” he said.

I certainly don't have the answer to where City Hall should be situated, but that seems about right to me.



  1. Did Jeff happen to offer an alternate location that would fit the needs of the Council? Or was he just criticizing?

    I’ve been in charge of coordinating new office buildouts and facility searches before (in fact, I’m in a process right now), and one of the most frustrating things you encounter is when people complain about the facility options without having a better alternative in mind that actually meets the search criteria.

    It’s the easiest thing in the world to criticize someone else. And it’s all the more aggravating when the critic and complainer ascribes uncharitable motives to the folks engaged in the search and is basically just venting irritation with management or playing to his faction in a group. It’s a very populist thing, to whine about the power-hungry pols who want a “Taj Mahal”, but it’s not very constructive at all to the public discourse.

    From my own experience, then, my unsolicited advice to Jeff based on traditional values:

    Please DO offer a viable alternate location that meets the search criteria. If you don’t have one, then you might be appreciative of the hard work people are putting into the search.

    And if, because of your campaign, you can’t bring yourself to feel or verbalize appreciation for their efforts, then please at least keep your mouth shut. Momma probably told you that when you were growing up and it’s still good advice now.

    Comment by Geo — April 16, 2006 @ 2:43 am | Reply

  2. Jeff Weninger posted the following on March 8th in the comments at this site:

    “When I said that I don’t want to see 20 people making decisions for an entire city, I was speaking about the location of city hall. I have been the only candidate speaking out against the use of eminent domain in building the new city hall. The council spent $200,000 on a study so RNL could tell us that of the 4 potential sites for city hall, the 2 sites that we actually owned were no good and the 2 that would possibly take eminent domain to aquire are the winners. I said that I don’t want 20 people who showed up at those stakeholder meetings making a decision for this entire city. There is no reason to take up prime retail or condo space on AZ. Ave for a government building. How is that going to encourage development?”

    Although it’s not explicitly, I take this to mean he has given alternatives, at least to the press. As I’ve expressed elsewhere, I think the best thing Jeff Weninger can do is do a better job of getting his message out.

    Comment by Amazing Jake — April 17, 2006 @ 9:58 pm | Reply

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