For those who aren't familiar with what is happening in Sarnia, you're really missing out. www.sarniabayfest.com is an annual festival that brings millions and millions of dollars to our community. A recent article in the Sarnia Observer has a local councillor, Dave Boushy, speaking out against the festival because of the choice of performers for the event. This is my open letter to Jim Stokley, the event promoter/coordinator:
Mr. Stokley, if you were spending YOUR money to bring these large acts to our city, you should have ultimate say in who attends. If you weren't receiving substantial amounts of money from our city to support the festival, they wouldn't have a say. When my tax dollars go to supporting your event in the City of Sarnia, you have an obligation to me and the tax paying public.
As a moral and upstanding citizen of this community, I demand that you consult with the community, at large, on where our money is going to be spent. No longer should you be able to expect thousands of dollars from our City for you to use as you so choose. Our city deserves more than that. It is time for you to stop sitting on your high horse pretending that the money is yours - it isn't.
What? Bayfest is 100% funded by Jim and Michele Stokley? The city doesn't donate a single cent to the event? Jim even pays for the police to be there (ultimately reducing the expense to the City of Sarnia - paid service by the police is a money maker for the city!)? Bayfest has supported local charities with over half a million dollars in donations? The city charges them thousands of dollars for the park rental?
Oh.. nevermind. Boushy, shut your fly-catching trap.