Readers letters, Sept. 30

Sep 27, 2013

Festival grounds money pit

To the editor:

There’s a money pit in Maggie Valley called the Maggie Valley Festival Ground. Disputes mount as our town board continues as entertainment and tourism directors rather than stewards of tax revenues. Property taxes are collected for services, not for subsidizing businesses. Sixty percent of Maggie’s revenues are from residents having no connection to Route 19 businesses.

For over a year, we have heard little other than what’s going on at the festival ground. Town hall meetings are dominated by discussions, complaints, arguments and votes on weighty matters such as dog trial events, who can pour the beer, who said what to whom and who is the next one to be fired.

Always, always, “How many heads are being placed in the beds?” is asked. Does any of this belong in town hall meetings meant to serve the entire community?

N.C. legislation regarding use of tax money was disregarded when the current board voted to suspect charges for festival grounds use. Before 2012, event promoters paid $1,500 per event, returned to the town’s general fund.

The town board has no right to give the park away for businesses to make a profit. Maggie taxpayers paid for the grounds. We now have to pay to attend profit-making events. We now subsidize the grounds to the tune of $200,000-plus a year withy more projected next year.

Maggie needs board members who are knowledgeable managers of money. They should be schooled in tax law and ethics pertaining to use of public revenue. Training is provided by N.C. Institute of Government at little to no cost. Perhaps board training would fill in our money pit.

June D. Johnson

Maggie Valley