Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Do, or Do Not. There Is No Try.

Alderman Lioneld Jordan brought forward a Resolution in May, passed by the City Council 7-1, asking the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission to support the Fayetteville Arts Festival at $35,000, the same amount of support provided in 2007. The Fayetteville Arts Festival is becoming a regular cultural showcase that brings visitors to our community and allows our outstanding local artists to exhibit their talents and sell their creations. Moreover, it contributes to the continuing definition of Fayetteville as the cultural center of the region.

Mayor Dan Coody said he was confused by the fact that the arts festival organizers didn’t know that the Council was going to make a pitch to help secure funding from the A&P Commission. “I don’t understand that at all,” he said, yet he still followed through in support of Jordan's resolution. Kind of. Coody first requested only $5,000 from the A&P Commission, of which he is a member, to be matched by city funds, he said, "since the City Council put this on the A&P." That request was voted down, 2-3, with only Coody and Commissioner Tim Freeman voting for it.

Then Coody asked for $2,500 from the Commission and prevailed on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Neal Crawford and Maudie Schmitt voted against any funding for the arts festival. Coody, Freeman, and Pat Gazzola voted Yes. Commissioner Bob Davis and Alderman Robert Rhoads were absent and did not vote.

Mayor Coody should be commended for getting the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission to pledge $2,500 to support the Fayetteville Arts Festival this year. It is not the $35,000 suggested by the City Council, but it was probably the best he could do.

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