It doesn't matter where you sit on the matter of the Gygax Memorial Fund, we can all agree on one thing - +Tim Kask 's questions a week ago today elicited responses and updates on the Fund's activities that had been absent for too long.
As many of you know, I started asking questions about the Gygax Memorial Fund back in November of 2015. Unlike others, I have no horse in this race, no vested interest, no personal ties nor bias for or against any of the parties involved or perceived to be involved in or perceived to have an interest in the Fund. My training is as an investigator and I spent the last 12 years of my career in law enforcement supervising investigators. My response to conundrums such as the Fund is simply to attempt to find answers. I have no preference for the actual answers I find. No predisposed truths that I'm searching for.
Answers are elusive because of the Fund's lack of updates and lack of transparency, but there are some things of note that have been mentioned recently, and I'd like to list them here (and if you know of others that I've missed, please point me in the right direction and I'll add them)
- "Larry Elmore is working on two concepts" - hopefully this means that the eyesore (personal opinion only) of the proposed concept that can be viewed on the Fund's page is not going to be the final choice"
- "The architect and the construction company has completed the design phase for the foundation" "The architect and construction company worked over the winter months on the design phase and cost estimate of the foundation" - excellent news and sadly missing from any previous update
- "This year we will have architect, construction, sculptor, accountant, web hosting and other minor expenses." - all to be expected
- "Once we have decided on the design, we will go to the Planning Commission for approval of the design, then to the City Council for approval of the design" - that's a lot of approval left to come, especially when the actual location of the memorial is still being fought over
- "I'm waiting for the right time to approach the City Council to give us land in Library. You just cant walk in and wave a wand to get them to change locations." - see above. If anything is going to push this project to a later date, it will be this
- "Rest assured, we have land. The design and construction of the foundation, current site estimate is $44,000." - sadly, currently NOT the land that Gail would prefer.
- "We hope to break ground in 2017" - the last piece of news on this was from 2014, expecting to break ground in 2015. Why such a long delay? See below...
- "Regarding timing of building. I fought two years at monthly meetings to place Garys monument in Library Park. We, as a gaming community can ban together, when I go before the city council to request to change the location of the monument to be where Gary wanted it. Where he and Keo spent many hours reading books skipping school. That time is coming soon. So watch for my call to order." I leave the kind reader to draw his own conclusions to the above statement
- "The GMF will be selling bricks" - my understanding is that the sale of bricks is to the fund upkeep of the memorial going forward - I don't see any mention of selling bricks on the Fund's page itself
- "Our total cost will include 25 years of maintenance, foundation, architect, sculptor." - see above
- From Dec 4, 2013 - "UPDATE: APPROVED pending city atty approval. Gail Gygax appeared before the Board of Parks Commissioners tonite and requested, on behalf of the GMF, to control the sale of the bricks located at the base of the Gary Gygax Monument. She explained the bricks were part of the artistic rendering and all monies raised would go towards the 25 yrs of maintenance required by the city and the building of the monument. In addition, the script would be of a Medieval nature and only names of individuals, gaming groups and corporations would be allowed. Mrs. Gygax wants Gary's fans to have priority over the purchase of the bricks." - long history for the bricks. again, no mention on the Fund's site itself.
So, where do I go from here? Annual reports filed by the Fund with the State of Wisconsin are available from the state at a cost of $5 per year. I'll be ordering the 6 years on file before the week is out. I've also been going trough the minutes of the Lake Geneva City Council Meetings, but it's a slow slog as the search function literally sucks. Oh, and await further updates on the Fund, probably on Facebook, as the Fund's website has yet to be updated. That lack of an update is a shame, because it makes it appear to anyone not following the Fund or Gail on Facebook that nothing is moving. Just my simple opinion, nothing more.