Sunday, April 18, 2010
A&P Requests Revealed
Thanks to the good journalistic work of the Fayetteville Flyer, we now know which local groups have applied for this round of funding from the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission. Thirteen groups requested $260,869 for projects ranging from $1,000 for Puppets in the Park to a whopping $62,000 for the 540 Film Festival.
Too bad that the Commission blew most of their cash wad last fall, because they have only $31,000 left for this round, and the film festival wants twice that much. Poor budgeting at best, but all of Allyson's insider deals were at the trough last fall and had to be fed first. The Walton Arts Center, never shy, is back again asking for $25,000 for Beauty and the Beast, and TheatreSquared is again wanting another $15,000 on top of their previous funding. Now, I like TheatreSquared productions, but I have seen no evidence that their productions draw many tourist dollars to Fayetteville.
The most reader comment at the Fayetteville Flyer has been a raging back and forth about the $10,000 request by All OUT June for some kind of GLBT parade and festival. Some don't think it is appropriate to fund such a celebration, as opposed to, say, $20,000 for Babes and Bling Bikers. The worst application, in my opinion, is $36,612 for the Washington County Fair. Someone should take a look and see how many overnight guests booked rooms in town for the county fair last year and how much sales tax the carnival rides and cotton candy vendors paid to the city.
The Commissioners need to get control of the A&P staff and start being more cognizant that there are two funding cycles. They should also be more sensitive to the conflicts of interests that abound when A&P employees are on boards of groups that seem to get full funding while everyone else gets a rain check. They did take one baby step for mankind when they adopted a policy that commissioners had to bid on insider contracts; they should have been prohibited outright, but that would be asking too much of Bob Davis who continues to milk the goose.