Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Breaking: Museum Center to take over operations of National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Cincinnati's Museum Center has committed to taking over operations of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, according to this breaking story in the Cincinnati Enquirer that just went up on their web site.

Importantly, finally, the Cincinnati media are covering what Cincinnati voters have known since John Pepper came with his hat in hand for government bailouts in 2006: 

From its origins in the early 1990s, long before it broke ground on its building in 2002 and opened in 2004, Freedom Center leaders said they would not be taxpayer supported. That pledged changed, and the center received $20 million in federal, state, county and city money since its opening, a funnel that has closed to about $275,000 in 2012.

Until this article, Pepper and Freedom Center backers have deflected, denied and hidden this solemn promise that they made ten years earlier to gain some $60 million in capital investment from the City, County, State and Federal governments.  It is refreshing both that the promise is again clearly in back-and-white, and that new management seems willing to back that promise with the new management and ownership structure.

COAST appreciates the honesty that has been breathed into the discussion about the NURFC, the fresh new management to take over an otherwise failing institution, and the drive for efficiency that was sorely needed.

As COAST has said all along, we want the NURFC to be a successful, vibrant, important part of Cincinnati and the riverfront.  We just want them to do it without additional tax dollars, which is what they promised to our community.

So, is it too much to declare that this is one problem solved?

1 comment:

  1. We'll all have to monitor that the Museum Center keeps its promise to keep all tax dollars away from The Freedom Center. These "improved efficiencies" will have to allow The Freedom Center to cut $1.5 million out of a $4 million budget. That's a lot of efficiency. I'm looking forward to see how its done.

    If everyone is being honest about this merger this is a good first step. Ultimately the two need to merge physically as well. Move everything to one place and use the land on the riverfront for economic-generating purposes.


We follow the "living room" rule. Exhibit the same courtesy you would show guests in your home.