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CS Council Candidates Clash on Non-Profit Funding Save Email Print
Posted: 9:54 PM Apr 14, 2008
Last Updated: 10:24 PM Apr 14, 2008
Reporter: Steve Fullhart
Email Address: fullhart@kbtx.com


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In College Station, three seats on the city council are up for grabs, with three incumbents facing opposition. Monday night, the six candidates met in a forum on the east side of town.

One of the more hotly debated issues was one that's divided previous city councils for the past few years: funding of non-profits with city funds.

At the forefront of the debate has been the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley, which late last year received $440,000 worth of city funds for the fiscal year. Asked about whether tax payer money should be used for the arts, the opponents clashed.

For example, Place 5 incumbent Chris Scotti said city government shouldn't tell citizens what charitable organization money should go to, while his opponent, Larry Stewart, said Aggieland should strive to be something more than just another prairie school, and that spending money in the arts is good.

That's also the stand Place 1 incumbent John Crompton took, saying hotel-motel tax generated by visitors should go to the arts, while opponent Derek Dictson said young non profits should get city funding, and then be weened off of it.

Then, there's Place 3 incumbent Ron Gay, and his opponent, Dennis Maloney, who took different stands on the non-profit funding issue: Gay saying non-profits shouldn't be funded, Maloney saying arts funding in particular is vital to the community's growth.

"First of all, I'm not running for the board of directors of the United Way," said Gay. "I'm running for city council, and that's what we do in the city. We do core services. We pick up your trash. We pave your streets. We do those things."

"We cannot have an either/or attitude. We're bigger than that," Maloney said. "We're Texas A&M University. We're one of the major universities in the world. We should be enthusiastically embracing the idea of supporting the arts."

Early voting starts two weeks from Monday, with the election on May 10.

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CS Council Candidates Clash on Non-Profit Funding

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Posted by: Elmer Williams Location: College Station on Apr 15, 2008 at 06:34 PM
Ahhhh Election time!! This is the time to hold incumbents accountable for the red light cameras, if you oppose them. Check out their voting record and if you agree the red light cameras should be removed the ballot box is a great place remind them of this. Vote out the individuals that brought big brother to our community and you will send a very strong message. If you haven't noticed, the incumbents are trying to focus on everything except the red light cameras they brought to our community.

Posted by: Fair Tax Location: CS on Apr 15, 2008 at 06:11 PM
If the arts need money, they should raise it the same way everybody else does. Earn it. If a CS citizen wants art they can buy tickets or donate. Arts should not steal tax revenue that is needed for basics services like roads, Fire & Police, trash, and utilities.

Posted by: maria Location: Bryan on Apr 15, 2008 at 01:58 PM
I agree with Michael, funding should be spent on the city, who cares about the fine arts. Those who are for funding the Arts Council, what and how is this benefiting you - maybe we should call an open records to see what investment you have with the arts. We need to attract more visitors to our community, make the visitors come back and spend money here, invest in what will give back.

Posted by: S.H. Location: CS on Apr 15, 2008 at 10:19 AM
Why is Ron Gay the only one who seems to get it?!Core services!!! That's what a city is supposed to provide. If the arts are important to a community (and I believe they are!) private funding should support them. Not my taxes! My taxes should cover the essentials and the essentials only. I want to choose the non-profits I support -- the City shouldn't choose for me.

Posted by: Michael Location: College Station on Apr 15, 2008 at 07:35 AM
I believe Dennis Maloney has it wrong. The City of College Station and Texas A&M University are not one in the same. I want my city council representatives to focus on the issues of a functioning city government - like Ron Gay says - core services! And the hotel/motel tax? How about using it to attract even more users of hotels/motels to College Station in the form of improving meeting/convention facilities and associated services? 1000 members of the "Professional Widget Benders of Texas" are not going to come here because the city of college station commisions a sculpture to be placed on a street corner, but they will come here (and spend their money to do so) if there are enough classrooms and meeting space to hold their weekend convention.

Posted by: D. Location: College Station on Apr 15, 2008 at 06:53 AM
Go home, Ron.

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