How to play post BRAC Arsenal game very complex
The Dispatch mentions in a piece today that even the true number of job losses at the R.I. Arsenal are still unclear. The initial numbers released didn't square with the number of people employed on the Island. After Arsenal officials crunched the numbers, the figure increased from the reported 1,263 net loss to 1,705, not good news.
Adding to the complexity of plotting a post downsizeing lobbying strategy is the fact that the effort has so many fronts. The closures and "realignments" around the country pit military facilities against each other as most downsizing recommendations are essentially consolodation plans, with workers from two or more sites being downsized and consolodated at fewer sites.
So the Arsenal Development group, headed by R.I. Mayor Mark Schweibert, and the Quad City Development group, led by Thom Hart, and all others involved have to argue that the Arsenal is a more logical choice to locate the various commands and departments and that other bases should send their downsized employees here. But at the same time, they must fight a rearguard action by fighting against having even more Arsenal workers reasigned to other bases.
Essentially, it's a zero sum game for all military facilities, and they'll be fighting tooth and claw to get as many of the remaining pool of workers as possible.
So the announced cuts at the Arsenal may actually get worse if other bases can convince panel members that remaining Arsenal workers should be moved elsewhere, but if the Arsenal lobbying groups efforts are sucessful, the cuts won't get worse, and there exists the potential that workers from other sites might actually relocate to the Arsenal.
A difficult and complex task at best.
Thom Hart reveals that a few months before the recommendations were issued, they had heard "rumblings" that the entire Rock Island Arsenal might be shut down entirely.
The fact that didn't transpire is about the only comfort to be gotten from the situation.