Mr. Palmeri is off base - Preserve the Grand

Mr. Palmeri is quoted in the OshNW today:
Palmeri said this was the time for community groups to “walk the walk.” “If we don’t get meaningful private participation on this, we can only talk the talk on public-private partnerships,” he said. “Everybody wants to see the building saved, but I do think now would be the time for people to step up to the plate and show what they can contribute.”
Since he is a private citizen and wants to see the building saved, I look forward to him walking the walk as well.

What Mr.'s Palmeri and Esslinger (read the article, he is also calling for private donations) fail to realize is that the preservation of these historic buildings is the responsibility of govt. Even more in lean times when private fundraising is more difficult.

As Mr. Palmeri wrote on his blog during the water tower debate:
My interest in this issue is not rooted in some nostalgia for history or historic structures. Rather, I believe that it's time to start actively developing the "Historic Oshkosh" brand. Other cities have done this with great success.
How can we brand ourselves as "Historic Oshkosh" if we allow Wisconsin's oldest operating theater building to close and rot?

If the private sector, which already funds the Grand to the tune of $500,000+ per year, cannot raise the funds, it is the city's job to foster the city's image and encourage tourism and business development.

Let's see some consistency... Preserve the Grand.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I'm with you Jeff! Especially when the State of Wisconsin has offered to kick in approx. one-third the cost. That doesn't happen everyday. As a tax payer, I would like the City Council to authorize repairs and not dink around with this to the point that it gets more costly. I dislike the innuendo that Oshkosh people must struggle along on necessities alone and that the Grand is used by only a fraction of the city who should fund it themselves. Come on, the Grand is a city treasure. It's a beautiful and prominent building in the center of our downtown. As a taxpayer, it is NOT wrong or fiscally irresponsible to ask the city to pay for the repairs. I want this. Do I need it? Not sure, but I want this building fixed and paid for by the city for the city.

mrhelio said...

Tony Palmeri is a piece of garbage. He is an over-paid whining college professor who does not know which side of the fence to sit on..

maccabee said...

When Tony Palmeri made those comments about the water tower last year, he was voted down 6-1 (or possibly 5-2). He obviously *does* care about preservation of our most historic sites, but also realizes that the city cannot do that alone. The advantage of public/private partnerships is that private contributions can server as a barometer of how much the community really *does* care about particular projects. If private citizens can't step up with part of the funds, then the city is correct to de-prioritize it compared to other urgent needs.