Cape Girardeau Is Not For Sale (Unless The Price Is Right)

Martha Throebeck on Tuesday, March 18, 2003

from the this-tagline-sponsored-by... dept.

THE CITY SOON TO BE FORMERLY KNOWN AS CAPE GIRARDEAU -- The city council has opened a whole can of worms. After agreeing to rename Cherokee Park after the Kiwanis Club in exchange for generous contributions, the city council has been flooded with several hundred requests from residents, organizations, and businesses wanting to know how to get something named for them.

"How much would it cost to get Broadway named after me?" asked one of the five dozen people who called the mayor's office Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, city councilwoman Doris Fayknaime received so many phone calls that she broke down and recorded a message on her voicemail that said, "The city is not for sale! Leave me alone!"

A representative for the Mid-to-Late Afternoon Optometrists Club expressed concern about the city's Kiwanis agreement. "How come they got the cushy naming rights gig and we didn't get squat?" he asked. "It's obvious the fix was in. Our group has much deeper pockets!"

Several businesses have also expressed interest in buying parts of the city. "Here we wasted millions on the dome in St. Louis when we could've had a park in Cape for mere peanuts," said an anonymous marketing director at Edward Jones. "When it comes to naming rights, Cape is definitely a bargain."

One city resident by the name of Ernie McFlunkins ranted, "Why do we have streets named after Lorimier, Houck, Thilenius, and Girardot? What have they done for this city lately? It's time we get with the program and start naming streets after modern-day people -- and make a little scratch in the process. Let me be the first to suggest that we rename Independence Street as McFlunkins Boulevard. Now who should I direct my bribe to?"

The mayor, however, has been quick to put a damper on the naming rights gold rush. "Just because we renamed one minor park in one minor neighborhood after one civic group doesn't mean this city is for sale. We will decide each naming proposition on a case-by-case basis: they show us a briefcase full of money, and if we like what we see, we make the deal..."