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A Local View

From the local new station comes this little gem: Homeowner: Cary Wants My Land for Performing Arts Center.

Essentially, some entity within the town government of Cary, over-generalized into “the town of Cary,” wishes to build a performing arts center on this landowner’s plot, as well as eighteen other privately-owned plots. Normally, this wouldn’t be entirely worth pointing out, but in this case, there were a few things that perked up my ears.

The first is a quote from a Town Council Member who states that this publicly funded center will increase private investment and raise the quality of life in Cary. But I get a feeling there’s more to it than that. It’s not too far a jump from this private investment business to increased tax revenue. Waitaminnit… I’ve heard this one before. Anyone recall a little legal feud called Kelo v. New London?

I know it’s certainly taking it a bit far to immediately see a land-grabbing bureaucracy in this instance, but I just can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to it than the Town wanting to be philanthropic with other people’s money.

Which brings me to my next point: the funding. The same city council member paraphrased above is the chairwoman of a non-profit that is in charge of fund raising for these sorts of projects, and believes that they will be able to come up with the estimated $96.5 million this project is predicting. This, from a town of 121,457. That works out to about $800 per person. Cary has some generous folk, but I doubt that generous.

Luckily, the fine folks of Cary have Nels Roseland, a fellow Town Council Member, who sees to the heart of what’s going on. “In my opinion, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money to duplicate something folks can access 15 minutes away in Raleigh. Private sector efforts are laudable, but the scope of that fund-raising and targets that would be needed are simply not realistic nor have ever been achieved in Cary.” He knows that when voluntary fund raising comes up short, involuntary fund raising (taxation) will probably end up being used.

I don’t follow Cary politics too closely, but this guy seems a pretty stand-up character. I have no idea how he’s gone on other issues, but if I had a say in such things, I’d give a good hard look as to re-electing him. After all, if he gets his way, he may save every voter in Cary at least $800.

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Categories: Real Life
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  1. October 11, 2007 at 6:21 am

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