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Wilmington City Council discusses legislative priorities

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council members met with state legislators this morning.

They ran through their 2013 legislative agenda and had the opportunity to tell state leaders what's most important to the Port City.

Among film incentives and transportation concerns, beach renourishment and the Riverwalk repeatedly came up.

"What we've built is now being threatened by its age and that erosion from the river current," Councilwoman Laura Padgett said.

She and other council members want to keep money in Wilmington for its waterfront. Right now the city's room occupancy tax helps fund beach renourshiment in the county's beach towns.

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So glad now...

I moved from New Hanover County and Wilmington. Nothing worth bragging about there anymore.

Wilmington's City Council, Mayor, and City Manager...

met with our local legislators to solidify what they already knew...they are pro's at spending willy-nilly on the most mundane things. Padgett wants beach money for the riverfront?! Puhhh-leaase Laura! I'm betting you, along with King Billy, feel it's an "economic engine" that "drives" the downtown economy. I hope you all had a great time begging. The legislators see you for what you are...a group of self-serving individuals who never met a tax you didn't like.

City's legislative priorities

Money-

Money and

More money.
The assertion that River walk is Wilmington's water front and therefore eligible for part of the beach monies is laughable at best.
The best bang for your tourism buck is the beaches
Plains and simple
They bring in the folks that spend the dough
King Saffo and the Jolly Jesters now want the beach communities tourists to pay for the convention center and the River walk.
Now I know they need to merge city with county governments - because THOSE city folks need some adult supervision.

Vog

Not sure about this one

The city already gives almost half of its room tax money for beach renourishment, yet there aren't any beaches in the city limits. Why shouldn't the city ask for some funds to help maintain the its main tourist draw? I think it's a fair question.

Guester

it is a fair question and one that is answered by the convention center.
the city has a zone set up whereby all ROT go into the CC fund. Outside of that zone but within city limits I think half of the ROT goes into the fund.
The rest goes to the county.
The city benefits greatly by tourism at the beach communities but uses almost 2/3 of the total ROT within city limits for the convention center - which according to the CAFR for 2012 is still losing $5.5M per year.
The city now wants beach sand renourishment money to extend and maintain River Walk which is why they wanted the fund re-named waterfront restoration fund instead of beach renourishment.
Why should the county pay for River Walk? Or the Convention Center? when the bulk of our income is derived from beach goers?

Vog

Good points

I agree with your points, but what about the sales tax inequity? And if I remember correctly, the Convention Center was not supposed to start breaking even until after its fifth year - I think that had already been expected. Wonder if that's the amount they were predicting, though. I just hate automatically calling the glass half empty and jumping on the "everyone has to get voted out of office" bandwagon.

Guester

I agree on not acting too hastily but in addition to the CC we had the ballpark, shrugging off infrastructure by forming CFPUA ........

As for the CC yes it was anticipated to lose money through year 5 but it was NOT anticipated to lose $11M in the first two full years - it was supposed to be less.
Convention activity nationwide is being replaced by virtual meetings where it is no longer economically feasible to send people all over the place for meetings.
The CC was a mistake, as was the ballpark.
Almost $100M worth of mistakes that would make me not vote for these fools

Vog

Jumping on the bandwagon

Sometimes, despite the best of intentions, you just have to jump on the bandwagon if it's the last ride out of town before they turn the lights off.

Council

Priorities of the city government; Money to waste, more money to waste, and still more money to waste........

1- The parking deck that has been sold and bought back for more than it was sold for (2 times that I know of) and now is going to be refurbished only to be torn down in the near future......this has a price tag of "millions of dollars wasted."

2- The money and man hours wasted to try and shove a public funded minor league baseball stadium down the tax payers throats even though the polls showed an overwhelming majority of the voters were against it. This was verified by the election with 70% of the people saying no. The Mayor and Council could have saved 100's of thousands of dollars if they only would have listened to the majority.......

3- The continued public funding of people with 6 figure salaries with nothing other than hot air in return for money spent.

4- City workers paid an average of 10-15 percent less than the area average while the "bosses" get paid above the area average. Reducing the bosses salaries to the area average and raising the workers up to the area average would eliminate alot of employee turnover and training costs. It would also create a more experienced and dedicated workforce. The reduction of "boss pay" and the great reduction of training costs would go a long way toward funding the pay increases for the people that actually do the work.

Good post!

And spot on....

"King Saffo and the Jolly Jesters"!!! That's rich!! I would have a few more " colorful metaphors" to add but alas this being a family site I will not risk the wrath of the mods.

I gave up on the current leaders, and I use the term loosely, after the convention center fiasco. Adult supervision isn't enough unless it were to include a good ole trip to the woodshed!!!