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« World-class | Main | Keep at it »

May 30, 2012

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Billy Jones

Andy wrote: "If it's affordable and something we want (or need or whatever) for our current enjoyment and cultural enrichment, then it's a good idea."

Of course the key question becomes how do we define affordable and to whom?

Ron, are you still listening in?

michele

OK, so it's not a "need", it's a "want" and the chief benefit would be cultural and not economic. So, it falls into the category of a "nice thing to have". My next question is, can we afford it if taxpayer dollars will be used? The best economic philosophy (IMHO) is to pay for "needs" first, then put a little aside to save, then pay for "wants". Based on that philosophy, can we afford a PAC? (I'm asking serious questions. I'll be voting on funding for this PAC, right?)

Andrew Brod

I think this is more important than merely "a nice thing to have." A city's cultural environment is a key part of its civic makeup. But sure, there are lots of real needs out there. If you or anyone else can think of something more important that voters are more likely to support in a bond referendum, then let's hear it. And I don't mean that in a snarky way. The public debate should definitely include options.

Having said that, this isn't merely about comparing projects and their cost. It's about comparing projects and costs in relation to how those projects would be funded and whether they're capital or operating expenditures. For that reason, there aren't many comparisons if the PAC is to be funded via a ticket tax, which would shift the funding burden away from taxpayers as a whole. It's a shame that mechanism was taken off the table so quickly.

bubba

"For that reason, there aren't many comparisons if the PAC is to be funded via a ticket tax, which would shift the funding burden away from taxpayers as a whole. It's a shame that mechanism was taken off the table so quickly."

So where's the real world cost/benefit/usage analysis (without the usual fairy tale prognostications) that would convince the general public to support this thing?

polifrog
So where's the real world cost/benefit/usage analysis (without the usual fairy tale prognostications) that would convince the general public to support this thing?

I don't believe he hasn't actually teased that particular tale from the data yet.

Brian

I guess if we are talking apples to apples, what did it cost to build War Memorial Auditorium? How was it financed? What has been its direct economic impact (knowing that the indirect would be harder to quantify)?

This would pick up where Ed left off is that what we are really talking about is a replacement for War Memorial in a new location. The remaining life of War Memorial is diminishing rapidly and how many times have we note approved a bond for upgrades there?

Why couldn't the city use economic development funds that it currently is looking for a use for, for the PAC? While I agree this is a cultural amenity, it most certainly is an economic development project in that it will spin off increased development in downtown.

No doubt we are talking about spending millions of dollars to extend Florida Ave to McConnell because of the potential for economic development, why is this any different? It's cultural infrastructure.

Discuss.

Billy Jones

I can't answer any of those questions but maybe Ron knows the answers. Anyone seen Ron?

michele

P.S. At this point, I don't really have an opinion on the PAC. I don't feel like I know enough to be for or against it. That's why I'm asking questions. I appreciate the discussion. :)

P.P.S. I do have an opinion on "keeping up with Charlotte or Raleigh." That annoys me. I'd rather be Mayberry if we had to be somebody else, but we're way past Mayberry and I love Greensboro. But that has nothing to do with the PAC thing for me, anyway. We should decide about the PAC based solely on whether it's good for Greensboro. So that's what I'm trying to learn about. Thanks! :)

Spag

Let's not forget that people don't want just a PAC. They insist on a DOWNTOWN PAC. All of that talk about culture, etc. seems secondary to exactly where that culture is located. That's why it's important to follow the money. My guess is that the enthusiasm and need for more cultural amenities wanes the farther you get from Market and Elm.

Plus, let's not forget that UNCG, A&T, Guilford College, and Greensboro College all provide venues for such cultural amenities at present.

The argument that Greensboro is deprived just doesn't hold up. This is about downtown and the inferiority complex.

Billy Jones

Spag wrote: "Let's not forget that people don't want just a PAC. They insist on a DOWNTOWN PAC. All of that talk about culture, etc. seems secondary to exactly where that culture is located. That's why it's important to follow the money. My guess is that the enthusiasm and need for more cultural amenities wanes the farther you get from Market and Elm."

And I think I proved you correct roughly 108 times to date. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a clear view of the picture.

Ron? Anything to add?

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