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Editorial: City should not be in the entertainment business
About politics and other thingsDecember 12, 2012 | 5,105 views | 2 comments
Voters spoke loudly with the November elections.
By huge margins, a new city council and mayor were swept into office in Floresville. This did not mean that it would be without controversy, however. To be sure, the controversy has continued.
The most obvious is the recent vote by the new city council to cancel the annual Holiday Extravaganza. The event, sponsored by the city of Floresville, was to feature such performers as Paul Rodriguez, Little Joe, Ramon Ayala, and Roberto Pulido. It was scheduled for Dec. 15.
It would have been the third such event, but since last year’s Extravaganza lost some $16,000 and council had voted to stop all unnecessary spending, it had no choice but to vote to cancel this as a city-sponsored event.
In the meantime, former Mayor Daniel Tejada and other private citizens are continuing with the event on their own. This is as it should be.
As was explained to a concerned citizen who called this newspaper last week, the cancellation had nothing to do with the fact that it was an event featuring Tejano artists, as some were claiming. It had everything to do with the fact that this council has concluded that the city should not be in the entertainment business.
Some comments have been posted online and repeated in various quarters about why other events such as the Floresville Opry have not been canceled. This question is ludicrous for one very obvious reason. The Opry is sponsored by the Wilson County Historical Society, not the city, and therefore, does not cost the city anything. In fact, it makes money to support the Historical Society, which rents the Event Center.
For the city to have ever been in the entertainment business was not sound economics, and the Holiday Extravaganza was only one instance. Earlier this year, the city sponsored long-time favorite Ray Price at a concert.
While the event attracted a nice crowd of adoring fans -- I among them -- if it lost money for the city, it should never have happened.
The information available to the casual observer would indicate that it did, indeed, lose money. Although it was a good crowd that thoroughly enjoyed seeing Ray Price in one last concert, I disagree with what I heard one city employee claim. As the happy crowds were departing, she remarked that “it was worth it” to host such a positive event.
I disagree. Although the Ray Price concert did provide a feel-good event, it was not enough of a crowd to cover all the expenses. This was partially because of the way it was promoted, further demonstrating that the city should not be in the business of promotions and entertainment.
Whether it be country-western or Tejano entertainers, the city should be renting the facilities and not doing the promotions. Council should find a professional management company to hire the bands and to promote the events.
Finally, we expect the new city council to carefully monitor the expenditures of our tax dollars with a more conservative view. While there may be other issues concerning the Holiday Extravaganza going private, we trust this council to continue its conservative fiscal policy.
Either way, this business of throwing lavish parties for the benefit of a few is not economic development, and it needs to become a thing of the past for this city.
On the other hand, we should encourage all the privately promoted functions and parties that we can in order to fully utilize the beautiful Floresville Event Center.
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