The higher the expectation, the greater the potential for disappointment.
Jefferson City officials are exploring the possibility of merging the city's long-held desire for a conference center with the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department's plans to build a multipurpose building.
The idea has gained traction in the aftermath of the City Council's recent vote to reject two conference center proposals, the latest in a decades-long series of fits and starts.
We don't mean to put a damper on creative thinking, but we caution against "irrational exuberance" - to borrow a phrase from former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.
The obvious common denominator is that both are multi-million-dollar projects, which create an incentive to explore whether a merger could be mutually beneficial, from the standpoint of efficiency and cost.
If exploration proceeds, some obstacles - identified by Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Bill Lockwood - must not be overlooked or minimized.
Those obstacles include differences in purpose, financing and location.
• Purpose: The purpose of a conference center - and increase in the city's lodging tax - is to increase tourism. The purpose of a multipurpose building is to accommodate area residents.
• Financing: The City Council committed $9 million from the lodging tax for conference center construction, but has balked at an ongoing subsidy. In contrast, parks commissioners plan on subsidizing multipurpose building operations.
• Location: Although the council accepted conference center proposals for locations throughout the city, some city officials support a downtown location. The identified location for a multipurpose building is Riverside Park, on the city's east side.
Among these concerns, we believe the difference in purpose presents the biggest hurdle. We would be surprised if a consolidated structure effectively can serve two masters - tourists and local residents.
Our preference is to shelve the conference center, again, and proceed with parks' multipurpose building.