I am appalled that Hilton Head Island Town Council voted last week in favor of $575,00 for the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina.
The arts center has been subsidized the last 10 years by the town. Two years ago it was $600,000 for a new sound system. Now it is $575,000 for a new lighting system. And next on its list is a new HVAC system to the tune of $700,000, which, according to a study, will be needed very soon.
Where does the bleeding stop?
Several speakers pleaded with Council members to ask the arts center for a sustainable business plan and an independent audit before giving it these funds. They included Walt Graver who not only donated to the arts center but served on its original building committee and then its board of directors.
It was also suggested to look at implementing best business practices, such as reducing salaries. Do you think they would give that a nanosecond of consideration?
Here is the best (worst) part of this deal. Council included an amendment for the town to enter into a lease with the arts center for the lighting. And we can guess what the next step will be ... have the town (taxpayers) continue to pony up and eventually purchase the building, leaving the management in place. Now that is a sustainable business plan.
Thank you Kim Likins, David Bennett and David Ames for voting what is right for the taxpayers rather than what you might feel is right.
Hilton Head Island