FIRST ON 3: New Hanover Co. Commissioners vote NO on funding Arts Council

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Submitted: Tue, 03/15/2011 - 1:56pm
Updated: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 5:10pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – After about an hour-long presentation on the benefits of funding a local arts council, New Hanover County Commissioners voted unanimously to not approve giving the group $50,000 in seed money.

Representatives from the council said the City of Wilmington was willing to give it up to $50,000 if the county did. No word yet on what decision the city will make now.

The state arts council said it would kick in $25,000 if the city and county gave an arts council money.

Commissioners at first were going to accept the council’s proposal and wait to talk funding it until the budgeting process later this summer. But after more discussion, that motion was pulled and instead a motion was presented to just simply say no to funding.


  • Straightshooter says:

    Obviously the vote by Catlin for a major developer project-which was rejected by Board and then Catlin voting against a fire station(approved by Board) is really freaky and makes you wonder? What is up to explain a very poor decision.

  • taxpayeriam says:

    Thank the New Hanover County Commissioners for knowing that you can’t keep handing out tax payers money to benefit very few tax payers.Hope the taxpayers of Wilmington let the City of Wilmington they don’t need their tax money given away to benefit the —-.Let them donate their own money to the arts council they only want a half million dollars.

  • Guest says:

    More than jason, brian or jonathan–this guy is working all sides of the fence—-i think he speaks both ways on arts and his vote for devlopers other night shows his true colors– he’s been part of givernment for years and he hasnt done much except for his special interest friends. As for bellemy does she have a problem with democracy? Even barfield bailed on her-for once concerned with public opinion because he wants the votes next time.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    “I think some of them felt under the gun because there was a very strong contingent of people Tea Partiers, to be honest with you and I think some of them feel that they have to pander to their political basis.”

    Tea Partiers, to be honest with you? Like that’s something to be ashamed of? Thank God for the Tea Partiers and common sense prevailing.

    From last November to Wisconsin to this county commissioners’ meeting, liberals just lovvvvvvve democracy….unless it goes against them. Then, it suddenly turns from democracy to “pandering.”

    The people spoke and for once, the county commissioners listened, Ms. Bellamy. Live with it! I have a funny feeling this won’t be the last time.

  • Guest says:

    these public radio types have a way of distorting reality. What took place at the meeting was a recognition that people do not want to fund the arts with taxpayer dollars. Given the political bias of so many on the arts council is it suroprising that she whines on public radio rather than address the real issue—we have more important priorities. Arts are important no one disputes that-but get private funds not taken from taxpayers

  • Guest says:

    Planning his next campaign- so let’s help the developers today and tomorrow maybe they will help us. Those poor folks from Marsh could not believe what they were seeing. Then he says no to fire station.
    He and Pantano would make Mcintyre’s reelction a sure thing. that is good news

  • Guest says:

    To me the big issue on the marathon agenda on Monday before the county commissioners was the non-attainment issue not the arts. Catlin has been part of county committees and boards for a long time-why didnt he or his buddy caster flag this issue before now. was he sleeping at the wheel?

  • Guestrep says:

    Wow- how some folks grandstand. He sits on various county committees for years and does nothing and now he’s the best of friends with ultra liberal Kayne Darrell. Where was catlin when his friend caster was giving incentves and the go ahead oks to Titan a short time ago. On the environment much of what we are dealing with now- he was silent about until now–go figure.
    On develoopers – well he’s always been their friend. With republcians like this no wonder we lose elections.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    This is simply NOT a function of government.

  • Mook says:

    You’re absolutely right! Bringing culture into Southeastern North Carolina by allowing a council to invest in gifted artists and their works across a multitude of mediums is an absolute waste of taxpayer money. The math just doesn’t make sense. Over one hundred-thousand residents in Wilmington alone means that we would each have to cough up fifty whole cents over the course of the next year in order to provide such a blasphemous program! Fifty cents! Ridiculous I say, let’s just keep on buying our children $60 video games and anything else that can distract their curious-little minds from discovering new life-long passions through the potential art boom that could occur here. Art plays no role in Wilmington. I mean really, Cucalorus only brings in like five million dollars a year to our local economy, but it’s definitely not worth spending that fifty grand to invest in finding more films and independent projects that could, and will, in turn bring in even more revenues to the Port City. Azalea Fest and Riverfest would be all right if we keep on bringing back the same craft- and tradespeople year after year, right? And next year we can go the extra step and cut government-funded art classes from every school in the city, that way our children won’t veer off the path to being contented, uncultured drones working for our local economy! What grand ideas!

  • Anne Russell says:

    Too bad. An official local arts office with a paid administrator can go a long way toward bringing in grant $ and attracting visitors. Coordination cannot be accomplished by volunteers. This is a short-sighted decision.

  • Icantdraw says:

    Use your own money. I’m tired of paying your way.

  • Guest says:

    Yeah — the organizer of the pro-arts group, William P Graham Chairman of the Cape Fear Health Policy Council of the CFEDC, is a real blow hard — he should take some responsibility for this failure. He hurt the Arts’ cause be giving rambling presentations at Rotary Clubs and ignoring opposition. He organized the event at WHQR and other community forums.

  • taxpayer says:

    County Commissioners for voting NO. The spending of OUR tax dollars has no business being spent in this manner. Now have the backbone to say NO to the rest of the beggars who come looking for a handout.

  • Guest says:

    catlin was disappointing with his vote for his developer friends and then his vote against the fire station rezoning. He ignored the fact that market street vehicle traffic is overloaded and that this was a 260 unit development -not a fire station. He was comparing apples and oranges–but I guess we know why he got so much money from developers in the last election. Big Kudos to the folks from Marsh who stood up and were not intimidated-and to Thompson, Berger and Davis too.
    As for barfield and catlin– please guys there are other interest’s besides developers you need to consider-try harder helping all of us not just your developer friends.

  • Sad about Ignorance says:

    You realize, Mook, that the majority of those voting AGAINST the Arts Council won’t understand your sarcasm. They will take you literally, just as they do everything else babbled to them by Fox and the Tea Party. Unfortunately, the fact that we do not have an Arts Council in this area is an example of the Marching Morons theory.

  • Guest says:

    Burgaw is more arts-friendly than Swillmington! Get drunk and throw up downtown is about all there is to do!

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    …instead of being dependent upon the kindness of (unwilling) strangers, Blanche.

    Taking money away from taxpayers to give to a select few is not a function of government. It is stealing, plain and simple; all to fund a “potential art boom”….meaning equally a potential, total failure and another $50k vanished without an accounting, much like the Gravely commissioning. Only this was planned to be $250k from both the county and city, wasn’t it….?

    I have no idea what video games or the per capita magnitude of the theft (only $.50 each!) have to do with this, but if your numbers were not pure fantasy, people and organizations would be chomping at the bit to invest. You wouldn’t have to go put the touch on the taxpayers; every hotel, art supplies store, restaurant, and downtown tourist trap would be writing large checks to your little group of moochers.

    That’s not the case, however. Care to explain why? Is it because they scoff at your numbers too? Is it because anyone who has to approach the government for a handout in lieu of tapping private capital is pushing a money-losing proposition?

    Get a clue! The days of looting the taxpayer to fund small, psuedo-elite groups pushing some vague agenda and nebulous goals are over. Those of you who sponge off the taxpayers for your little councils, committees, and cabals are just as big a drain as career welfare recipients and lifelong Section 8 residents…..and in most cases, you provide an equal service and purpose in life.

  • Guest says:

    “. . . .uncultured drones working for our local economy”. Who do you think you are? Or rather WHAT do you think you are? If you are this upset the commissioners voted no to non government spending then you should open your check book and give give give to the arts. You need to come down off your high horse. There’s no need to be ugly just because you didn’t get the free hand out that you wanted. Take stock of yourself!

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    Go to Burgaw!

    Boy the artsy bunch on here sure are whiners….. IF it means so much to you then be very generous and fund what you want but don’t expect the taxpayers, that don’t want it, to contribute.

  • Guest says:

    Finally, there are commissioners in place to take control of spending. We have all complained about overspending, we cleaned house on election day and now those we put in office are doing what they won the election to do. Hopefully the “Good Ole Boys” (and girls) club is now squashed!! We can finish cleaning house on the next election day. Way to go!!!

  • Guest says:

    Finally–you are taking leadership and getting others to folow. I remember how barfield, thompson and davis all gave taxpayer dollars to the McColl gravely party. barfield would have voted for this too- but he saw shift in publuc sentiment. Thank you Brian and Rick–keep up the good work

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