The Henderson County Board of Commissioners, one of whom sits on the Board of Trustees of the Flat Rock Playhouse, will vote to bailout the much troubled theatre with taxpayer money on January 7th, 2013, at 5:30 pm in the Henderson County Courthouse. It is recommended that all 501 c 3s in the county that need taxpayer money show up at that time and petition the Commissioners to add their grievances of debt to the list to be pardoned by the Commissioners with a bailout.
If the Commissioners are going to bailout the Playhouse then it is fitting that they bailout all of Henderson County’s 501 c 3s that are in financial troubles. Don’t think that this is just a onetime deal because the upper management of the Playhouse said “we’re always going to be in front of you asking for money.” Apparently the need for taxpayer relief is going to continue even as the Playhouse makes plans to extend even farther than Myrtle Beach, Harrah’s, Downtown and now they’re looking at Florida.
If they want to go to all these places that is fine, but don’t do it with taxpayer money. Don’t have people who sit on the Board of Trustees out at the Playhouse also serve as County Commissioners and Mayors of the Village of Flat Rock. This is a conflict of interest and one of the reasons that government and 501 c 3s don’t play nice together. If you’re a 501 c 3 and you don’t have any powerful, rich, well placed trustees in powerful, well placed government jobs then your 501 c 3 is not getting any of the sweetness from the honey pot.
That’s why it’s so important for any 501 c 3 to show up on January 7th and petition your county government for taxpayer aid. They can’t very well deny you what they grant to another 501 c 3. And if they do deny you and grant for the organization whose Board they sit on then they’ll be shown for the type of politicians they really are.
There is one group that is going to be out in force every weekend and that is the Tea Party with their petition against a taxpayer bailout of any 501 c 3 or private business. They plan to be at the Henderson County Courthouse, the Etowah Library and the Fletcher Library asking residents of the county to sign their petition and let their voice be heard. They’ll be at these locations from 10 AM until 4 PM on the weekends of the 15th, 22nd and the 5th. You can stop by and sign the petition in person or you can print your own copy of the petition and have your friends sign it and you can mail it to PO Box 6011, Hendersonville, NC 28793.
Here is the Tea Party petition:
Petition to halt funding of all private enterprises using county revenue, specifically but not exclusively, the Flat Rock Playhouse.
To the Commissioners of the County of Henderson, North Carolina
The undersigned do hereby declare that we are opposed to the funding of private enterprises such as the Flat Rock Playhouse using county revenue regardless of the amounts or purpose of such funding.
Furthermore, we are opposed to increases in the Hotel Occupancy Tax for Henderson County in as much as any such increase is intended, or otherwise pre-determined, to fund any private business which is already receiving funding or grants from the State of North Carolina. It is our position that the state Department of Travel and Tourism is responsible for distributing tax dollars to any private or public business directly related to the tourist industry. Furthermore, we believe that the current Occupancy Tax rate is sufficient to meet the needs of our county and any increase can only adversely affect the tourist industry.
Therefore we demand that the commissioners withhold all payments from county revenue to FRP and cease the practice of funding or otherwise underwriting business activities of private enterprises by gift or loan regardless of their tax status. We also respectfully request that you reject any attempt to increase the Hotel and Room Occupancy Tax in Henderson County so long as any portion of that increase is destined to be distributed to any single private enterprise.
By signing below, I acknowledge that I am a resident of Henderson County, North Carolina.
This madness about taxpayer money and the Flat Rock Playhouse must stop. If the Board of Trustees and their supporters want to continue their quest of making the taxpayers of this County underwrite their spending, hiring and expanding practices then please be aware of what the price of such actions really are. What are you doing to your audience base? What price are you asking the politicians that vote for such action to pay for in the next election? What public goodwill has been lost? What public pride has been forfeited by the Board in a county divided over this issue?
Throwing taxpayer money in an ever deepening and expanding hole without strict and enforceable guidelines should be a crime and should be stopped. Enough is enough!