By Bill Oakey – November 23, 2015
City Council Member Leslie Pool sponsored a resolution last week that will help protect taxpayers from the burden of subsidizing special event fee waivers next year. Ms. Pool took the time to call me in response to my previous blog posting regarding public safety spending for 2016 special events. The key point as she explained it is that she has tracked down another funding source that will not come from taxpayers. There is a Business Retention and Enhancement Fund that is being considered for this purpose. This fund contains the $2.4 million returned to the City from White Lodging, as a result of their lack of adherence to their incentive agreement.
I will take this opportunity to apologize to Council Member Pool for not contacting her before I published the blog posting on the resolution that she sponsored. She has made it clear that she supports a long-term solution that will reduce or eliminate taxpayer subsidies for fee waivers. This has been a long and treacherous affordability battle, and it’s great to know that Leslie Pool is in our corner and taking the lead on this issue. The resolution that she sponsored and got passed is an important first step in the right direction. Now it is up to the City Manager to follow through with a plan for alternate funding sources for special events and the permanent elimination of fee waivers – finally!