My "SIGNATURE ISSUE" is EXPECTING our LEADERS to do the RIGHT TH
July 05, 2012 | 10:46 PM
I guess you and Latimer have to make things up, so you can enjoy your reading pleasure, at other peoples expense, sadly. Perhaps, Latimer is upset that I can and did find several flaws or questionable spending in the currently inflated budget.
My "signature issue" is expecting our leaders to do the right thing, instead of allowing, made up rules or standards for some, but not for others. The whole process was, as you say "You can also make an argument that the funding for the festival was badly handled" and you are right.
A specific amount of money was allocated as an ADVANCE (per transcript and my being present, along with others, who heard first hand, what the request was).
A specific use, marketing and advertising.
A specific promise to repay, upon the conclusion of the event, as the funds were taken from the Downtown Improvement Fund.
One could even say a misappropriation of funds, if one really wanted to get down to it.
I have a copy of the request made to Guilford County Commissioners and I can assure you that only once was their a request to use those funds for John Coltrane "Statue".
Again, a specific request for Downtown Improvements and according to the Planning Department Head it does not cover a festival.
TAXPAYER MONEY was used from an inappropriate fund by a very questionable method. A method not available or approved for any other function within the city.
I do not believe the city should allow any further funds to ANY FUNCTION OR GROUP OF ANY KIND that request an ADVANCE and wiggles free of the expectations of full reimbursement upon the conclusion of the event.
Many other events have gone through all the proper channels for funding. Many groups have successfully booked hotel rooms, etc...per the proper procedure, then received funds depending on the specified requirements.....just saying.
How about RECUSAL of one's self, when you sit on a board of which you are requesting funds.
Do I think or have I ever thought the funds were pocketed by any member?....NO.
Do I think or have I ever thought they went over budget, because of Ms. Sims' relationship with some on City Council, including the City Manager?....Yes, that thought has crossed my mind.
Do I think the JOHN COLTRANE FESTIVAL is a good idea?.....Yes, but not at the taxpayers expense, where it relates to the ADVANCE.
Do I believe that they could partner with like minded individuals or groups (jazz)? Yes
Do I think they should try a bi-annual event? Yes, as this would allow them to raise additional funds, without such a large request of taxpayer funds, etc..., as well as increase the interest in the event from various like minded jazz groups, etc...
DO I THINK JOHN COLTRANE IS MY SIGNATURE ISSUE? .....NO, but I am impressed that you and others see this as an issue of real concern, as it shows it must be at the forefront of your mind(s), knowing that the initial event was not handled properly.
I, further, believe that ANY GROUP, that request any monies from the city or any avenue, that receives city funds should not be allocated out, until full reimbursement to the city has been made, should there be an outstanding balance owed to the city.
I believe that most groups should consider a bi-annual request to the city in times of an economic downturn, as it expresses their acknowledgement that the taxpayers of our city simply cannot afford any additional funding, at this time, on an annual basis.
I hope you and Latimer can find something more to discuss....like the inflated High Point City Budget.