Once again the voices of a few, who are championing a minority cause, have the ear of Hilton Head Island's Town Council.
Like the lengthening of the Hilton Head Island Airport runway to accommodate the wishes of a few private plane owners, a handful (54) members of the Palmetto Rowing Club, have convinced the Town Council members to put the "wants" of a minority ahead of the benefit of the majority. That's you and me, the taxpayers.
Let's review the facts as noted in the Packet's March 9 story. The club of 54 proposed the center because -- gasp -- only 36 of the 54 members can row at a time because they don't have enough room or boats at the current facility. The club pledged to raise $1 million of the $1.5 million needed. They've raised only $20,000. They've since dropped their pledged amount to $356,600. This only validates the lack of taxpayer demand for the rowing center.
To borrow a phrase from another sport, the horse is out of the barn. Town Council, swayed by those 54 minority voices, spent $3.5 million of our tax dollars to purchase land that at low tide isn't really very conducive to rowing. The estimated annual (ongoing) operating cost, borne by the town (again, that's you and me) is $67,000. That's three times the amount the rowing center has raised.
Town Council: There are more than 54 taxpayers who don't want the rowing center. Why won't you listen to us?
Hilton Head Island