Monday, June 18, 2012

Special: Save our Races in the Port City from Assessment

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, the council will vote on this issue. I hope that all will respectfully write to the council on this issue. 
thanks all and blessings! 
here are their emails. ‎,,,,,,
Dear Wilmington City Council Members,
I am writing to oppose the 1$ per racer fee that is being considered for racers that are using city streets  that are endeavoring to raise funds for local fundraisers in the port city.
Currently races are already assessed fees for the streets as well as fees for security either by private or through the Wilmington City Police Department. To add on an additional see is counter to the opportunity that these races provide not only for our city to enjoy the many benefits of these races in which we are bringing in people from across not only our own state and across our region but our country.

These races fill rooms, restaurants, provide great economic stimulus to the city and are an abundant promotion that comes to us at no cost whatsoever.

Much beyond the economics, these races and walks promote the best in who we are as a community by teaching and sharing about health and wellness,  bringing families together and  by creating opportunities for us to actually create goals and objectives for people to improve their lives.

I am a living witness to that very opportunity coming from a place where I could barely get up a set of stairs to actually running these very city streets in my first race ever race. 2 years ago, I ran my first ever 5k, a fund raiser for the Historic Wilmington foundation. Not only did I achieve that magnificent goal, create a better life for myself, and share that example for others, I did it while enjoying my downtown, my home city; enjoying my community, and shared it with my best friend, my family along the route!  All of this and we raised badly needed money for the very community in which I love!

Since this, in race after race, I have seen this happen for so many others and it is truly an amazing blessing to fathers running with sons, mothers with daughters, families running together…all to make their lives better.

The small nonprofits are the lifeblood to who we are and what makes better collaborations for the very things the city cannot do. It is unfortunate to think of taxing the very sources that do for us what we can not do for ourselves. Particularly when are not  assessing fees or taxing on those deleterious things in our community. Perhaps it is with some tongue in cheek, but there are realities to these examples when we look at what we are not assessing fees to: we do not turn on the meters for parking in the evening when the bar patrons are coming to enjoy, but we do when the shoppers during the day do. Shoppers do not create need for extra police and trash. The same can be said all over the city for establishments who serve at bars. We do not assess fees to cover the cost of our police and extra clean up for that either. Maybe a dollar for each bar patron. How about a dollar for each patron of a fast food place for the effect on our costs for health. A dollar for each person who does not recycle. A dollar for each person who is enrolled at a college as there are direct links to extra security for apartments and neighborhoods. And the list goes on.

Bottom line, we are considering assessing a fee on something that actually does reduce health risk, that creates a better community, makes money for our non-profits, makes money on our economic base and  that makes a better life and does something that actually works for us.

I know the leadership in Parks and Recreation. They are AMAZING and I love them all very much as they work harder and with less every year, but they try very hard for all the citizens of this city. I worry this is a constraint put on them from a difficult budget. Certainly, I  do not presume the role of my elected leaders and do not presume to know all the answers. However, I do know that penalizing something in our city that produces positive results; taking money out of non-profits that are collaborative with our city; removing the incentive for others to do these races and promote health and wellness by making it more expensive and thus making it less egalitarian is not the answer.  

There are other sources of income to make up 15k dollars. There are parks foundations that can be set up that have still not been done in our city. There are other ways.  

We have all worked together successfully to create better parks and infrastructure. We have done our part by paying our taxes. Now it is up to our city’s management to ensure that those services that benefit the entire community are funded properly and those things that are for all the people that have such positive effects for all people are not penalized by fees.

I so appreciate you hearing this and will look forward to the results of your decisions.
L.S. “Bo” Dean Jr.

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