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Reader’s Forum — 3-17-14


Disrespect and sense of entitlement displayed by DDA representative at City Council meeting

City Council tolerating a Downtown Development Association representative’s condescending and patronizing behavior toward Councilman Larry Mac Hovis was inexcusable at the March 6 meeting. His recommendation to not serve alcohol at Alive After Five events elicited: “we (DDA) would lose money.”

She became irritated with Hovis and remarked, “so it’s about the money not sponsoring a family oriented event.”

DDA requested Council to allocate $10,000 for a legacy band for Hog Happenin’ from Tourism Development Authority’s Occupancy Tax Fund. Councilman Devin Rhyne questioned the appropriateness due to challenges facing city’s budget. Sense of entitlement manifested itself by the DDA representative’s statement, “it’s same as last year’s.”

City Manager emphasized that $6,000 was already budgeted in City Business & Community Development Department for HH Entertainment.

DDA representative was flippant concerning TDA and OTF dollars by saying, “its all about head and beds.” Rhyne indicated conversations with local hotel managers revealed Charlotte Motor Speedway race fans filled more beds than HH. She reluctantly concurred. White Lighting Dance Competition, one or two days at the Citizens Center in March, April and May generates more motel beds than HH due to employees, dancers and families travelling from the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Tennessee.

City Council should adopt the following policy and procedures regarding allocating taxpayer funds to DDA and disbursement of TDA/OTF funds:

No taxpayer funds will be allocated without examination and publish results from independent CPA audit unaffiliated with DDA members.

Publish Public Hearing on agenda one month prior to Council meeting to allow an individual or organization generating tourism dollars to request endorsement for TDA/OTF funds.

TDA/OTF will not allocate more than 25 percent of their funds to same individual or organization within a Fiscal Year.

DDA will not receive taxpayer funds for Alive After Five, to encourage creative sponsorship solicitations.

No taxpayer funds allocated for Legacy Bands at HH and encourage DDA to pre-sell tickets for bands to appear at Citizen Center.

I am opposed to wasteful spending and unjustified tax increases. Exercise your freedoms guaranteed by The Bill of Rights and US Constitution. Voice your grievances at City Council meetings, in the media and voting.

Robert Tomlinson


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