To the editor:
You could see the dollar signs flashing in the eyes of the business owners and the board members supporting the Maple Leaf Performing Arts Center. They were elated when the APC voted to send a positive recommendation to the commissioners at the expense of the elderly, citizens, and nursing home residents. It was like watching kids on Christmas Day.
Citizens opposing this idea were ignored. Their concerns fell on deaf ears.
The proposal is all about grandiose ideas of economic development. Economic development for who? The citizens? I think not.
It will be the citizens that will pick up the tab when the CVC and CVB outspend their resources.
It will be the citizens that endure the extra traffic congestion at an intersection that already has 23,000 cars flowing through it. (That’s a stat quoted by Mr. Gould.)
It will be the residents of a senior community that will endure the greatest hardship of the noise, the traffic and the uninvited guests on their personal property.
And the business owners couldn’t care less. All they see is personal financial gain.
The Brown County Convention and Visitors Bureau has a single line item on the county budget. In 2016, that number was $730,000. What does the Visitors Bureau do with that money? There is no transparency. We don’t know if they operate in the red, black or anything else. We don’t know where they are getting the $2,000,000 to buy the 14 acres. We don’t know what kind of impact the $553,061 bond payment will have on their sole purpose to promote tourism in Brown County. And we certainly do not know why they negotiated a land purchase for $143,857 an acre. (By the way, I have an acre I will sell them for $143,000. wink, wink.)
There are far too many unanswered questions to allow this project to move forward.
It is my sincere hope that Brown County Commissioners will schedule this recommendation from the APC at an evening meeting and not at a 9 a.m. meeting. The citizens should be allowed a voice and sincere consideration when they are the collateral.
Sherrie Mitchell, Brown County
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