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Letters to the Editor: Spectra and the City of Shawnee


December 3, 2020


The Countywide & Sun:

A salute to the staff of the Countywide News for their Nov 26 front page, on-target, investigative reporting of the continuing and confusing management situation surrounding the Expo Center.

From the report, the situation between Spectra and the City of Shawnee concerning ground maintenance is a case study of varying interpretations of the contract, rules for resolving conflicts, compounded by the City of Shawnee's continuing patch work approach to resolving the issues. Please note, I am not on any boards, committees, or citizen action groups. I am simply a citizen of Shawnee since 1992. What I have to say will be controversial to some, hopefully welcomed by a few, and tolerated by the rest:

1. Roles and Missions - During the 20 years I was privileged to wear the uniform of this great nation I gave many briefings to Pentagon officers, commanders, unit personnel, Congressional members, and the general public. When speaking to a group for the first time, I started with the time-honored agenda of history, mission, and organization.

This quickly established who I was representing and the importance of what I had to say. There was no room for "chasing rabbits." Within military units, discussions about who was to do what, how, and when was simply referred to as Roles and Missions. This served to bring conflicting or competing organizations back to first principals. From what I have read over the years, there was a rush to realigning Expo personnel and getting a contract rapidly concluded with Spectra. Everything of possible conflict was tossed into the contract with an assumption all sides knew what was meant. I suggest speed outweighed a mutual understanding of Roles and Missions.

2. But wait, there's more. Turn back your memory clock. The City of Shawnee debated, harangued, and let events overtake the planned construction of a major softball and playground complex north of I-40. While the project floundered, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation built a first class, revenue-producing complex that has a full schedule of usage, including hosting several high school championships.

In addition, their large arena hosts everything from indoor sporting events, entertainment of all kinds and even graduations. I now venture to the outer limits of possible motivations of the City of Shawnee to rapidly hire Spectra - to compete with CPN in attracting events for the Expo Center. I am not a CPN member nor have I ever worked for CPN. However, they were there first and the Expo Center might be better served by focusing on their traditional roles and missions.

Glenn C. Peck



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