Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hello left hand, I am the right hand

I hesitate to disclose this fact but while I served in the Government of the Student Body at Iowa State University I served on the Provost's "Committee on Committees." (COC) My goodness, can anything smell more bureaucratic? The idea was for this committee to serve as a focal point that would create a better understanding of what was happening in all of the university's various colleges. Despite its politburo-esque nature I found this body to be very informative since I was exposed to a wide variety of issues.

During my trip to Arizona this week I was reminded of the COC after I read two articles in the Arizona Republic entitled -- "Gordon to Stress Investing in City" (the Mayor of Phoenix) and "Capitol a 'disaster' area" (Arizona's state capitol grounds). The first article focused on Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's State of the City speech which highlighted the fact Arizona State University's (ASU) downtown Phoenix campus (they are in Tempe today) is expected to open this fall. The second article focused on the ugly, crumbling, uninspiring Arizona capitol complex complete with its House and Senate buildings. One suggestion for the renovation of this area was the demolition and reconstruction of new House and Senate buildings. The most important note in this article was -- "In November 2005, a group of ASU undergraduates released a comprehensive plan to revitalize the Capitol Mall." (Source - Arizona Republic, February 14, 2006)

I almost dread saying this but I have to pose the question -- does the State of Arizona have OR does it need a similar "Committee on Committees" (potential members -- Governor, , one elected mayor, chairman of the Board of Regents, State Treasurer, and the Auditor General to better coordinate major capital projects? I pose this question due to my cheap, German farmer ancestry which makes me think that IF 1.) ASU is creating a new, downtown Phoenix campus AND 2.) the Arizona state capitol needs a complete renovation THEN why not have ASU and the Capitol Mall enter into a joint building development plan?

Imagine a multi-function building complete with all Arizona state government branches coupled with a center of higher education such as ASU? The state legislature meets part-time and summers at a university tend to be quiet anyway so why not combine all of these taxpayer-supported entities into one modern building that better reflects Arizona's history, culture, and ecosystem which the current Capitol Mall complete with grassy areas (what were they thinking???!!!!) does not do today?

See you at the committee meeting,


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