Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It's all a matter of perspective in communications

'Sometimes it's necessary to destroy the village to save the village...' - the jive at five

Waco - Either we don't always get it right, or we get a lot of help from our friends who like to see us get it wrong.

Either way, it all boils down to the same thing, donesn't it?

Information is power; witholding information is power cubed – on the square, or not.

As it turns out, building a new Precinct 1 barn won't involve the acquisition of new property.

The Legendary made a huge mistake in that regard in an earlier story.

The Highway Department merely condemned the front portion of the barnyard maintained by McLennan County Commissioner Kelly Snell on I-35 in Hewitt – not Lorena, as we reported – and will pay about $600,0000 for 6 acres in a negotiated settlement involving no litigation.

“We don't like to do that,” said Mr. Snell. “That's just the state suing the government. It's all the same money.” He shrugged.

That leaves the rear portion of the property open for further development of a new barn, vehicle washing area and catchment pond for the resulting drainage.

Our problem was that we didn't ask the right person for the facts. An agenda item to approve a contract with Abacus, a local engineering and architectural firm, yielded no information and a subsequent records request to the County Judge's office yielded no better.

A quick conversation with Mr. Snell shows that the matter is far from finalized. The Commissioners' Court once again deferred taking any action on the matter of design. A 130 by 85 foot structure of some 11,000 square feet met with objections from other commissioners. Their barns come in at about 4,400 to 4,800 square feet.

Mr. Snell's final words for the day are that he wants to avoid costing the taxpayers anything more than necessary. It was impossible to find property at a price that would compare with his election to keep the operation in the same location and build a new barn, he added.

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