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Open letter to Waynesboro City Council on the Wayne

Posted by Stephen on April 25, 2007

By Robert Harrold

I am so pleased to hear that you are taking the initiative to support all of the non-profit performing arts groups in the city of Waynesboro. I can only assume this to be the case as I recently read in the local newspapers that there is $300,000 of Waynesboro City money that may be apportioned to the Waynesboro Theatre Alliance. I’ve recently read that several private donors have made sizeable contributions to the WTA. In fact, in the past my family has monetarily supported the Wayne Theatre Project and I think that the recent decision to hand over the Wayne Theatre building to the WTA was a wonderful decision.

Since there are so many worthwhile non-profit performing arts groups in desperate need of funding, I could not imagine that Council would monetarily make preference for one organization over another. Just think of what an equal share of proceeds could do for groups such as Schola Cantorum, The Waynesboro Choral Society, The Waynesboro Symphony, Waynesboro Players Inc., and Valley Music Academy to name a few.

All of these non-profit organizations currently accomplish so much for the performing arts in our city. These allocations would serve to preserve history, maintain current performance standards, enable organizational growth, and be a catalyst for the youth in our city as they grow and give back to the community upon becoming adults. Since the majority of our area public school systems use the block-scheduling system, the need for the “extra-curricular arts” organizations is in great demand.

It’s wonderful to know that our City Council can be so generous to the non-profit performing arts organizations and I’m sure that this generosity will continue throughout ALL of the non-profit organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Shenandoah Valley Art Center, and the Daily Living Center to name a few.
 
Imagine my surprise to hear that 3 of 5 council members are in favor of a monetary allocation to the WTA. Just before the most recent elections, one of the council members currently showing favor for the allocation specifically told me (when asked) in a face to face conversation that “the Waynesboro Theatre Alliance is a dead issue”, but I guess it has come to life again.

It would seem that if the city were to place funds towards a performing arts venue, they would MAKE SURE this venue would be able to serve the needs of all performing arts in the scope of seating capacity, availability for other non-profit performing organizational use at low to no charge, and avoid using taxpayer dollars to complete a facility that will continue costing the citizens of Waynesboro three times over.

1. Waynesboro tax revenue used to help construct the project and current city employees being allocated to assist this project.
2. The cost WTA will charge to Waynesboro performing arts organizations wanting to use the facility.
3. The citizens of Waynesboro paying to attend these performances.

Currently there are many churches and public schools that have a larger available seating capacity and allow their facilities to be used as a performance venue at low to no cost. The present venues being used may not serve the performances to the extent that a new theatre might, but they are greatly appreciated and much more cost efficient. So with TRUE foresight, any performance venue supported by the Waynesboro City Council would most logically need to have a seating capacity of 1,000 or more, but I’m sure you would already recognize this situation. At the same time, being cost efficient City Council members, you would know that you could build a BRAND NEW performing arts center with a seating capacity of 1,000 or more for around 3 million dollars. A performing arts center of this magnitude would truly benefit all of the performing arts in our area.
 
Finally, I’m sure that as the time nears for the City Council to vote on any non-profit funding expenditure, that any council member who might have a political, personal, or professional connection with the non-profit organization would respectfully abstain from voting on that funding.

In closing, let me also THANK YOU in advance for the funds that you as the Waynesboro City Council decide to allocate in an even distribution to all of the non-profit organizations, performance or otherwise, that do so much for our great city of Waynesboro, and directly affect thousands of Waynesboro citizens and voters. I will be encouraging all of the Waynesboro voters and non-profit organizations to come out to the next city council meeting to see how generous the Waynesboro City Council is to all of the Waynesboro based non-profit organizations.

Robert Harrold is a Professional Musician, Executive Director of a non-profit organization, Registered Voter and Concerned tax payer in the Great city of Waynesboro.

Opinons shared by editorial writers do not necessarily reflect those of management of Conservative Viewpoints.

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