Step 1: Proponents of an “arts venue” convince the Hilton Head Island Town Council to allocate $200,000 to study the feasibility of the project. Is there anyone naïve enough to think that they won’t justify proceeding with the project?
Step 2: In a slick pork barrel maneuver that would make Congress jealous, $6 million is slipped into the proposed 1 percent sales tax increase for the initial phases of the arts venue. Once spent, that would be followed by perhaps $65 million to complete the project. The $6 million was neatly committed through a tax increase supposedly to cover many needed and worthwhile local projects.
Where in any of this is there any concern about what the residents might want? Why isn’t all of this preceded by a townwide referendum? While it may not have occurred to the Town Council, it is just possible that a majority of local residents are not in favor of assuming an additional tax burden that might go on forever.
While it’s a pretty radical idea, there just might be more than a few of us who don’t want the noise, traffic and extra congestion in what we used to call “paradise.”
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