The city budget planning session on May 24 should have been billed as ďBring on the Proletarian.Ē
One council member didnít bother reading documents given each person, including those of us not allowed to speak. He/she made an excuse that some personal business did not allow for complete reading of previous material and immediately launched into an opinion what should be cut.
When told one document listed cuts to the proposed budget, meticulously completed by staff, the council member used up about 30 minutes expounding on figuring capital expenses first, ignoring or not knowing that each department includes capital expenses for their department in their total planning including for rate changes.
When asked by the mayor for ideas/examples there was no response. Most answers to questions asked by the council member were interrupted by the council member so that answers were seldom completed.
Staff and Museum Advisory Committee after many hours of study, which included the county director of economic development, had recommended a museum director be hired so that Homesteaders Museum could be a viable partner with other city departments by attracting visitors who would spend money here.
The Scottsbluff Chamber of Commerce estimates over 70,000 tourists enter Wyoming from Nebraska on Highway 26. Very few stop in Torrington for various reasons. Listing a few of many problems, there is no signage on any road leading into Torrington advertising attractions.
Other Wyoming communitiesí museums or points of interest are listed in Wyoming tour magazines, pamphlets, Internet, etc., but not Homesteaders Museum. One magazine map lists Torrington as Prairie Center. The museumís electrical and plumbing are outdated by 80 years. There is virtually no fire protection. Thousands of donated items remain in piles or on shelves that an experienced full-time director could rotate through the museum besides developing proper cataloging, storing and estimating value for insurance purposes.
Looks like there wonít be a full-time director. If fire doesnít destroy our museum and items donít rot on shelves, it will be updated at much-greater expense.
The wage committee, none of whose members have taken an in-depth tour of the museum or spoken with the museum committee, has made its decision. The council member indicated he/she is wage committee chair.
Intrinsic possessions like a museum and contents (our history treasurer chest) cannot be properly measured by only one personís wages and benefits. Increased tourism could offset that.
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