WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - This Tuesday, voters in the city of Wilmington will decide whether or not they want a tax increase to help pay for a baseball stadium in the downtown area. The Atlanta Braves say they'll move a Single-A franchise here if they have a facility. That possibility has divided the community along two lines – Vote NO and Vote YES. With this week's segment, we're going to let you hear from both of them.
Scott Harry is encouraging residents to Vote No to the stadium tax. This is what he has to say about the issue:
It is my firm belief that it's not the role of City Council to invest in or to support one business over another. Our Government must remain impartial and allow the free market to decide who wins or loses. Baseball is no exception. If the Billionaires who control baseball want to play in Wilmington, they're free to do so. But they must pay for their own facility, just like the rest of us.
Baseball has "sold" their stadiums by claiming they bring new money, tourists, and jobs to town. But 30 years worth of honest academic studies have revealed it's just not true. Their empty promises exploit our desire for a better economy. But don't take my word for it. Google these two words: "economist" and "stadium," and decide for yourself.
Chip Mahan, on the other hand, would like to see a stadium in the Port City and is urging residents to Vote Yes. This is what he has to say about the issue:
When I talk to people across Wilmington, I consistently hear we must do more to attract jobs. It's what matters most.
But it's rare we get a chance to vote directly for jobs. We have that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The ballpark bond referendum is about creating a vision for Wilmington's future. A vision that includes corporate headquarters...major retail development …and new downtown residential communities. Cities across the country have seen billions of dollars in investment from similar projects.
Business owners I know want us to step up to the plate. They want quality community partners like the Atlanta Braves.
Let's do what's right for our community and vote YES for jobs and Wilmington's future.
This particular ballot issue is only for registered voters of the City of Wilmington. But there are plenty of other important races for the rest of us to vote on. Be sure to take "your turn" at the polls on Tuesday by exercising your right to vote.
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