Vision 2000 story touches a nerve with former councilman

I’ve always thought that good journalism should provoke emotions. That’s why I took it as something of a compliment when former Mitchell city councilman Terry Timmins, in an op-ed piece published today, said this in reference to my July 25 story about the legacy of the Vision 2000 community planning initiative:

"I laughed even before I read the article."

Timmins didn’t mean that as a compliment, though. He meant it as a criticism. He went on to write "I just knew that the article was going to give too much credit to the Vision 2000 committee for some of the projects completed during the last 10 years."

I think Timmins was a little unfair in his critique of my story.

Timmins wrote, "I feel that the news article gave too much credit to the Vision 2000 Committee for the Missouri River drinking water pipeline (B-Y Water Project)."

Here’s what my story actually said about the pipeline: "In the early 1990s, Vision 2000 committee members dreamed of many projects that ultimately came to fruition. Among those ideas was a Missouri River drinking-water pipeline …"

Notice the phrase that I used: "that ultimately came to fruition." That’s hardly heaping credit on Vision 2000 for making the pipeline happen. Instead, it was a deliberate attempt on my part to give no credit nor take credit away. It’s language that essentially says, "They talked about a pipeline, and later a pipeline was built." It doesn’t say Vision 2000 was the driving force behind it.

Later in the op-ed, Timmins wrote, "I also feel the news article gave the Vision 2000 Committee too much credit for the Mitchell Aquatic Center."

My story said the same thing about the pool as it did about the pipeline: "In the early 1990s, Vision 2000 committee members dreamed of many projects that ultimately came to fruition. Among those ideas was … replacement of an outdoor swimming pool …"

Again, no credit is given or taken away. The story simply says that Vision 2000 members talked about replacing the city’s outdoor pool, and then the story says that the project was later carried out.

People other than those associated with Vision 2000 may deserve the credit for making projects like the pool and the pipeline a reality. I don’t know who deserves the credit, or in what share. All I know is that some of the ideas discussed by Vision 2000 members were turned into successful projects.

I also know that some Vision 2000 ideas were never carried out, as my July 25 story mentioned. Because I wrote about both the successful and unsuccessful ideas, I thought my story was just as much a critique of Vision 2000 as it was a tribute. In other words, I thought it was pretty fair to both sides.

I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts.

12 thoughts on “Vision 2000 story touches a nerve with former councilman

  1. I happen to like Mr. Timmins response. The 2000 committee had a wish list. The 2020 is the same. They hold no power, just a committee to dream of/for our future. The City Council is elected to manage, and if some of the dreams of our community can be accomodated……..good. Many, such as David Olsen, and the hockey parents, get the credit for our hockey arena. I am hoping the swim team and parents can get us a community center…..without having to team up with the hospital (which should be keeping it’s funds down to accomodate the uninsured, and ill) or the college.

  2. Good for you Terry! I miss you, Bill, Steve,Ed, and Ken on city council. Things got done that were for the betterment of the whole community. Although none of you got the credit you deserved, you should feel proud of all you accomplished.
    I respect your thoughts, and hope you continue to share them. Sorry Seth, I think your being a tad bit sensitive about this.

  3. I don’t get it. The point of Vision 2000/Focus 2020 is not to control local government or do the months of planning/study to complete these projects.

    It’s called Focus 2020 for a reason. The focus is a decade out. It’s just a wish list for the whole city…not just local government.

  4. It could have been the picture of Jim Beddow along side the Aquatic Center that may have confused a few people. Alice and some members of the council may have lost their elections because of the pool. They supported Randy, the park board, and others that worked so hard to get that pool built.
    They are the ones that should have been recognized for their efforts. Not Jim Beddow. I agree with Terry…. what a laugh.

  5. I agree with Terry too. He always said what he thought and most of the time he was right on even though he may have ruffled a few feathers and EGOS. Too bad we don’t have him and a few more like him on the council. Also I see they “cleaned up” Import Motors. Thank God Smith doesn’t have to look at it anymore on his way to work. Poor guy.

  6. Confused, the problem may be with the reporting of 2020′s recomdations. Tooooo much went into the story, and it appeared that they were pushing for these recommendations to be implimented. They were, in fact, just that…….suggestions for the future. Not right now. Not today. Ideas of what might be accomplished with continued growth of our community. Unfortunately, this is not the time to be talking spending money, so it may not have gone off well.
    Go slow and Grow slow.

  7. Phyllis,

    Your comment was deleted because of one word. I think you know what the word was.

    If you want to criticize me, go right ahead. You just can’t use words that violate our standards.

  8. This has nothing to do with any visions. Thanks Dave Olson and hockey parents for the rink. Thanks Randy and park board for the beautiful pool. And a special thanks to Bill Rubendall that I do not have to drink that nasty Lake Mitchell water anymore. Terry’s letter was informative, insightful, and gave an historical perceptive as to what really happened. Keep it up.
    PS…. good luck to the swim team parents!

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