My Turn: Following procedure to submit a petition - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: Following procedure to submit a petition

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It's believed that Mark Twain once said, "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Perhaps the organizers of the petition drive to stop the City of Wilmington from spending taxpayer money on a baseball stadium should have heeded that advice.

The concept was noble.  I think there should be an in depth discussion about whether it's worth using tax money on such a venture.  I have been on the record here before saying I think it's probably worth the consideration.

However, the way these folks went about it shows they weren't ready for prime time.  You have to play by the rules, and apparently they didn't read or understand the rules, because they didn't submit the paperwork required by the city charter.

Now, they're paying the price. But instead of taking their lumps and just admitting they messed up, they've changed their tactics to claiming the city council is trying to disenfranchise voters.

I see it this way -- if these guys can't get this part right, should we really trust their credibility and leadership on any facet of this important issue?

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


 

Emailed comments from viewers:

You are correct that the small group of individuals that organized the petition did not do the proper research so that all the t's were crossed before submitting the petition, however, lets give them credit taking up a cause on behalf of the taxpayers of the city of Wilmington. 

Some things to consider:

This is the same city council that said there was no time to put this before the voting  public and ran their own poll to try and show support.  A recent poll by your competitor (wway) of city taxpayers showed 76% would not spent any tax money for a stadium. 

Why should we trust a council that delivered us a barely utilized convention center and has been unable to deliver an adjacent  hotel after more than 4 years to negotiate a $42M stadium on our behalf.   This is the same group that did the end run on New Hanover County, so no surprise that the county is not at the table.

Talk to the taxpayers, not a few developers and downtown business people about how they feel about using tax dollars to build a stadium. 

How is Charlotte funding their stadium, not with a tax increase.  Part is coming from hotel tax funds, but we already gave that up for the convention center.

Cities are going bankrupt across this country due to over-extending themselves, and we don't need to follow in their footsteps.  If its such a great investment, where's the private money?

Finally, please take a moment to figure out what the total cost to taxpayers is for taking a 20-25 year bond for $42M at the current muni bond rates. 

I would welcome you to estimate the total cost of the bond including interest and ask viewers if that want to use tax dollars for the next 25 years to fund a stadium.

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I think these people have tried to play be the rules, but the rules are hard to understand and interpret sometimes. The point is that many people, more that you think, do not want this ball park forced on us to be paid for by our tax dollars. If Wilmington wants a ball park to be paid with tax dollars, then it should be voted on by the people of Wilmington without having to have a petition to be filed. There are many other things in this town that should be addressed before hundreds of thousands dollars should be spent on a ball park.

Now where is that petition, I want to sign it!

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