Today's topic is not about Special Olympics. It is about the City of Wilmington. But in order to make my point, I must talk about Special Olympics.
Let me state up front: I love Special Olympics. I've donated money to them and in another city I volunteered and helped out during its state games. It is, without question, a great organization.
But in spite of that, I question what the City of Wilmington is doing. Our news team recently uncovered that the city is allocating considerable resources, at taxpayers' expense -- including wages and benefits, to fundraising efforts for the Special Olympics.
I previously made the case in this forum that our government bodies should not be involved in giving taxpayer money to non-profits. Charitable giving should be at the discretion of individuals and companies, not our politicians.
If this is right, why not go over to the Harrelson Center and put everyone on the city payroll and pay their office rent? That would be absurd. And to me it is just as absurd as picking one organization among the many to support in this manner.
City leaders can only say it's been done for years. But that doesn't make it right. At a minimum, they need to treat all of our valuable community organizations as even handed as possible. And in my opinion, they shouldn't be in that business at all.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments from viewers:
AMEN, that's exactly what I said when I first heard about this.
Thank you for your response. I disagree with your contention that Special Olympics is an exception. With minimal online research, I found that the city provides support to several nonprofits, to include Wilmington Interfaith Hospitality Network, Good Shepard, Boys and Girls Brigade and more. Just one document I found - the Wilmington Annual Action Plan 2013 - 2014. Thus my contention is that your reporting was cursory and does not fairly lay out the story. The city budget is another source of information, the Mayor's office, the city managers office, etc etc - not just the lower level Parks and Recreation employee. I think the WECT VP's "My Turn Your Turn" perspective was clear. You are into shock journalism instead of measured reporting - picking the easy shock story instead of in depth hard reporting on issues that do matter to the citizens of Wilmington - crime, gangs, jobs, infrastructure, and so much more. I know these issues are tough as opposed to a story on support to the population with disabilities. Sorry - this story hits close to home and my opinion of the media has not improved by your cursory coverage of this matter.
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