Summary of responses on Brown County Matters to my article published July 25, 2018. GUEST OPINION: Tim J. Clark. Maple Leaf: Will more money be a recurring theme?
Non-Supporters: The “Talking Points” from non-supporters of the process used to fast-track this project can be characterized by three Cs: Crony capitalism, Corruption, and Contempt for the citizens:
- “Crony capitalism is an economy in which businesses thrive not as a result of risks they take, but rather as a return on money amassed through a nexus between a business class and the political class.”
- Corruption is when a person’s conscience no longer registers right and wrong. – Pope Francis
- Contempt for the citizens. “If you have contempt for someone or something, you have no respect for them or think that they are unimportant.”
2018 and 2020 Elections. The ends do not justify the means. It was evident last June/July that the decision to approve Maple Leaf had already been made and citizens would only have a voice in the 2018 and 2020 elections. This observation led me to develop the Independent Voters of Brown County IN blog and Facebook Page.
- Brown County Matters is another Facebook Group that citizens can join that covers “Matters that Matter” to Brown County Citizens.
Acceptance or Rejection by the Community? Just because a venue is built and “might be” successful, does not mean that it will be accepted by the community at large. The fast-track process for this government-owned music venue will always be part of the legacy.
- The county is funded by income taxes and property taxes. The revenue from the innkeeper’s tax can only be used to promote tourism. An economic analysis by students from IU’s SPEA/MPA program identified that tourism-related wages are among the lowest in the state.
Maple Leaf Options – Are we (county citizens) stuck with a government-owned music venue forever? FOR SALE BY OWNER — ACCEPTING OFFERS 🙂
- The venue can always be sold. The sales price would be determined by the success of the venue.
- I would never want to see an attempt to transfer the debt on to taxpayers or use general funds to subsidize the venue in any way.
- The president of the county council at the time – Dave Critser at the council meeting to approve funding, stated that in a worse case scenario, the county would allow for a default and a transfer of the asset to the bank.
Social Media – Voice of the Citizens
There can be many emerging issues (electronic sign for example) that can increase risk and lead to divisiveness and polarization within the county that can be expressed on social media. This can contribute to a reputation that Brown County is a place to be avoided.