Eye on Oshkosh host Cheryl Hentz recently spent the hour talking with City of Oshkosh Parks director Ray Maurer about a variety of issues related to parks in the city. Included in the conversation was the controversial subject of selling part of the city’s municipal golf course to Oshkosh Corporation for its corporate headquarters. The two also discussed updates to other parks and a very ambitious zoo expansion plan. The show can be seen here: https://youtu.be/Mw33EerT38A.
It is also worth noting that, close to the very end of the show, when Hentz and Maurer were discussing a user fee for Leach Amphitheater, the fee provided for in the city’s municipal code ONLY applies to for-profit groups, and the bulk of users of the facility are non-profits, including Waterfest which puts on weekly musical events every Thursday in the summer. Needless to say, that leaves very little money in a reserve account of any kind to do future repairs when needed.
Editorial note: It has been my opinion since the day this amphitheater was built that a 50-cent per ticket user fee should be in place and the money set aside for maintenance as it comes up. Without that, the city parks budget will be additionally stretched when maintenance or repairs are needed. As a taxpayer this does not see right. There are user fees for other recreational and quality of life things in the city (and elsewhere, like stadiums, performing arts centers, etc.), and the amphitheater should be no different. People will not stop going to Waterfest, or any other function at this facility if they have to pay an extra 50-cents or even a dollar per event. Anyone who says differently needs to examine the facts and take a good look around to see how such fees DON’T stop people from attending events.