In virtually every case, the requests are made with the tacit understanding that the public purse has no apparent bottom. They trot out the same excuses that they bring tourist dollars and other benefits to the city, and as a result the taxpayers somehow owe it to them to fund yet another bailout.
The Western Fair is an amusement facility in the middle of town. It has rides, a horse racing track, slot machines, and buildings that host fairs and exhibitions - usually agricultural, motorcycle and other semi-rural events. It's actually a neat addition to the city - but only if it doesn't bankrupt us. The fair's management asked the city to extend a sweetheart deal that drastically reduced the rent it pays on its site. I got fed up when I found out, so I wrote this:
Not just the fair has money troubleYour turn: Would you give them the money? When does this endless sucking at the public teat (now that ought to set the search engines abuzz) become too much?
Published Thursday, June 22, 2006
The London Free Press
I’ve got a bit of a personal problem and I’m hoping the city can help me out.
It’s been an expensive year. When our car conked out in our driveway, we scraped together our hard-earned dollars and headed to the dealer to buy another vehicle. Before long, our dishwasher and television also stopped working. All this unplanned buying is killing our bank balance.
So I’m hoping London will give us a break on our taxes this year. After all, we’ve lived in this city for years, contributing to its economy in so many ways. We buy groceries, attend festivals and take the kids to Storybook Gardens. Visiting friends and family add to the windfall.
Western Fair has asked for similar relief from city council. I think London’s response should be a stark no. Why give the fair a break when taxpayers routinely get none?
Organizations that can’t plan effectively shouldn’t expect routine bailouts. If the civic safety net doesn’t extend to residents, it shouldn’t extend to the fair either.
Postscript: The city has rejected the Western request. Yay!