Saturday, May 24, 2008

Comments & Commentary by Charles Hill

Petty politics still exists in St. Charles city hall. The Mayor has made it her business to stop business on Main Street. Many of us merchants on Main Street had planned to create a memorable wedding, bridal event on Main Street. The plan was to advertise all the shops that wanted to participate in a wedding event. The shops would open their stores to brides and grooms show them what our individual shops had to offer for weddings. This daring marketing was going to be paid for by the shops and not from the tourism department or any city funds. The Convention and Visitors Bureau called the creator of this Bridal Showcase to a meeting. There she was told that the event could not go on without the completion of a 39-page permit application and the payment of numerous fees to the city. When she explained this was nothing more than an advertising program by the merchants to bring new business to the street she was told it didn’t matter. Complete the application, pay the fees or be shut down. We later learned that the order to shut it down came from the Mayor’s office. The Mayor would not support this event and wanted it stopped. Why? Because the advertisement would be done in the First Capitol News. Even though this was free enterprise. Even though this would have brought in new visitors and customers for the merchants. Even though this would have created an event that could be replicated year after year, Petty Patty told the businesses no and threatened other events if they went through with the plans.
Now I’m not one to hold grudges, but to punish the hard working business owners just because the First Capitol News prints the truth about you doesn’t sit well with me at all. How do I know it’s the truth, just look at Petty Patti’s actions on this event. Her actions should tell everyone that she is a just a facade of a person. Deep down she is petty, petty, and petty.
Another example of Petty Patty in action was written about in the last column and the Foundry Board listened. They went to the Council and asked them if they would give them $30,000 they had promised that the Mayor was holding up and blaming the council. Now the council is going to give the Foundry $100,000 instead. Dick Sachs needs to re-examine his belief that the Mayor has the ability to tell him the truth. Sachs was the one voice saying no to going to the council and trying to use his connection with the Mayor. My feeling is she was holding the money because Grace Nichols was on the board along with Rory Riddler. More petty politics.
I’m happy the Foundry is going to get the money. I have only one request, make the Foundry use St. Charles catering companies. This money is being given on the backs of the hard working families of St. Charles. The Foundry should help pay that back by requiring those using caterers to choose from the local eateries that are willing. This keeps the money in St. Charles and helps pay that gift of $100,000 back to the taxpayers. So council, give them money but make the money stay in the city.
Lastly, since we are talking about money staying in the City. The tourism tax is still existence and we all pay this tax whenever we eat in the city. That money is then collected and spent everywhere but in the city. Every publication that we have been advertising in for many years still gets their yearly advertising. The same out state TV and radio stations still get paid. We have marketed this city the same way for 20 years now and still haven’t figure out that we aren’t getting any money back.
I would like to put the CVB and Mayor on notice. If you don’t start looking for other ways to effectively spend our tourism dollars others and I will begin a petition drive to dissolve the tourism tax. This tax has been squandered and you all need to be on notice. If you think it would be impossible to get the signatures, think again. There are few people in today’s economy that wouldn’t sign.