Is American money being wasted when it's used to fight poverty abroad? I would argue that it's an important part of Homeland Security. Even President Bush is supporting emergency assistance for people who can not buy food. Why? Because people lose hope when they see their children starve, and they see no future. And people without hope can easily see violence as a solution; they are prime targets for recruiters of terrorists.
Although times are tough now in the U.S., we are better off than most of the world. And money we spend to prevent war is much better spent than the billions we are spending killing people.
Arena oversight panel needed
The city administrator informed the council he had discussions with BAHA representatives who are interested in managing the arenas. A draft management agreement was presented to council. Item 3 states: Compensation to BAHA. The city shall pay, on behalf of BAHA, for purposes of BAHA's efforts to maximize this community resource and promote the utilization and city image, those expenditures incurred by BAHA. For said purpose, the city shall allocate the sum of $_______.
The amount of compensation was left blank in this agreement. However, BAHA has stated they are requesting $100,000. Our city administrator and other staff are already being paid to maximize the city's resources and promote utilization of arenas and the city's image.
Citizens who are interested in arena financing should watch Channel 8, Monday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. I have completed a financial analysis of the Arenas from 1996 through 2007 and will present this information to council on May 19. This financial information didn't come cheap. I was required to pay $90 to City Hall. I am confident that I can present a budget whereby revenues from arena operations will pay expenditures, without using BPU funds or other city funds. I have 18 years experience as a volunteer general manager of the civic center. Revenues from operations always paid expenditures. No city funds or free electricity was ever provided.
I will be recommending the council approve an arena oversight committee, made up of two elected officials and one representative from each BAHA, VFSC, and dry floor events. No management fees will be charged. I'm recommending the council implement my plan for at least one year before paying BAHA $100,000 annually. The council should also direct the finance department to prepare an arena budget without using other city funds.
Brainerd City Council member
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