Final Determination (For Real This Time)
If one could go back four years to listen in on my various conversations, record the topic, and then count the frequencies of particular themes I have no doubt that one topic would come out on top: the UW’s Golf Driving Range. You can read all about this fine facility at their convenient website.
So why the obsession? How could hundreds of square feet of grass and fencing hold my attention for a period longer than high school? The story is a long and tortured one, complete with villains and heroes, tragic failures and uplifting victories. A complete retelling is easily worth a book… and perhaps, should I ever write memoirs, I might just open with this story. But not today.
Here’s what I can tell you… after a seemingly assured defeat at the March 10 S&A Fee Committee meeting, fate transpired to deliever a win. With a little help from the University President, the student government presidents, and the ever impressive S&A Fee Committee I am proud to announce the plan to build a new driving range has been scrapped.
I cannot help but chuckle at the idea of celebrating a plan’s demise. Victorious stories usually end with creation, not destruction. How often do we celebrate the failure to do something? But then, I suppose I celebrate everytime Congress takes a firm stand against the Administration or the Governor strikes down the excess of the Legislature. Perhaps some of our greatest accomplishments as a people have been the stopping of something horrific… whether it be hereditary totalitarianism, Nazism, or economic depression… the vanquishing is often harder than the creation. Getting a rock to roll down a mountain has proved to be rather easy, it’s much harder to throw yourself in front of that rock in an all too often vein effort to stop its decent.
With the range’s demise a full $10 million is being returned to the S&A Fee Committee fund balance. It may not be an end to terrorism, but we each fight our own battles according to our own abilities. In the perfect world I would like to give the money back to the students by reducing their fees… but the nature of the bond does not allow for such practical decision making. As a next best, we will be taking that money and investing it into other needed capital projects… turning our next $50 million dollar project into a mere $40 million debt.
It’s the small things that count.