+ Stadium should be converted to multi-use
A good ball game is exhilarating. Most everyone can conjure up a memory made as a spectator or a participant. I will not argue the fact that baseball is fun.
I will, however, argue that emotional ties should not outweigh municipal responsibility. We, as taxpayers, should not bear the burden of funding new stadiums while the industry cartel gets rich.
Will major league baseball cease to exist should our elected officials decide not to fund a new stadium with tax dollars?
Our local-and-state government should be ashamed. To be willing to subsidize a private corporation and, at the same time, cut funding for education, safety or health is a travesty!
If public money is invested, it should be to increase the value of a community in the most productive way.
Allowing baseball to tell us when and how we can utilize a stadium we pay for doesn’t fit the criteria.
Entering a 30-year bond based on current tourist revenue or property values is bad business.
I suggest Ed Smith Stadium be converted to a multi-use facility. Create year-round employment opportunities for out-of-work coaches, teachers and citizens. Affordable summer programs and after-school programs for our kids would be good. It doesn’t have to be a sports facility.
Our public money should be invested to build economic stability, not to help major league baseball.
+ Quit wasting money
I hope somebody can explain to me why any one public official would ask for more money out of tight state and local budgets to spend wastefully on stadium activities that will not pay the costs.
State and local budgets are not free money. Government waste is a burden on taxpaying citizens. In this time of recession, I, as a citizen for responsible government, would like to find officials who want to save money instead of wasting it.
+ Statue blackmail has become diabolic
How diabolic and divisive the emotional and financial blackmail concerning “Unconditional Surrender” has become.
A black cloud has formed over Sarasota’s cultural climate.
The level of discourse is pathetically inadequate even for a “devil’s advocate,” such as myself.
+ No permanent kiss on bayfront
Let’s cut out the baloney about “patriotisim” regarding one’s opinion about the the replica of a photograph and where it is displayed. It is not an issue of how much you love your country.
There are a number of other issues that must be considered:
• What is the mission of the Public Arts Committee regarding the display of art on the bayfront? Define the criteria.
• Should donors be allowed to dictate what is shown in the display?
• “Unconditional Surrender” is not a work of art, nor an original idea. It is more of an expression of one person’s media version of another one’s originality.
I have no doubt that clearer heads will prevail, just as with the beautiful Ringling Bridge. “Unconditional Surrender” is a novelty and should be treated as such. It’s OK to have such pieces displayed on the bayfront for a short time for their novelty effect. Please, not permanently.
Thomas J. George
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