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ONLY ON 3: Mayor responds to Bring It! Downtown spending problem

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council met for the first time today since a WWAY investigation uncovered big questions about the way a marketing group set up to bring people to downtown Wilmington spent public dollars.

The problem is Bring It! Downtown gets its funding from the city, and public money cannot be spent like that. The group had to get its money back and get a sponsor to pay for the party instead, and then paid the sponsor for advertising Bring It! Downtown was going to get for free.

Mayor Bill Saffo says this is why the city has a third party, Wilmington Downtown Inc., to oversee the project.

"When it was brought to the attention of the folks of Bring it! Downtown, they understood what the problem was, and they felt like a significant mistake had been made, and they were willing to correct that," Saffo said. "I don't think it was done maliciously, they just weren't use to this type of a process."

Saffo says he is pleased with the way the marketing money was used to continue to promote downtown.

As a result of our investigation, Saffo says city council will make sure that safeguards are in place so there won't be any confusion on how future money will be spent.

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Scum

"The group had to get its money back and get a sponsor to pay for the party instead, and then paid the sponsor for advertising Bring It! Downtown was going to get for free."

So instead of paying the Hilton, they paid someone else to have them pay the Hilton. Sure, nothing improper there at all. We can't be the only city with such slime running the show.

Don't you get it...They paid

Don't you get it...They paid for the advertising instead of getting it in trade. Bring It! Downtown did nothing wrong. The purpose is to get folks to shop, live and bring business to the downtown area. This entire thing has been blown out of proportion by a reporter failing to cover all the angles and going for the shock and awe!

If it is taxpayer money,

If it is taxpayer money, then the city should be overseeing it, not some third party. What a waste of money.

Guest2020

It goes beyond just city money.
The city council CREATED this endeavor called Bringit! Downtown.
Then let the oversight be done by WDI/DBA.

The amount of city money used is miniscule, however this lack of city oversight is bothersome for a agency created by the city.
Both WDI and the DBA should be ashamed for this type of activity and should have recognized the cozy level of interaction between the groups involved and should have asked for someone from the city to serve on the oversight board.
They failed to do this.
So what we get is cigar purchases, grocery purchases, liquor purchases, parties, videos that are not seen by anyone, and a virtual parade of local characters before city council acting as if they are someone of some importance that the city cannot live without. They get some funding but otherwise they get publicity. The city fosters this sense of importance, but does not hold their feet to the fire as far as performance goes.
THIS is the real problem here.
We give them a sense of self worth and in return get a black eye on the city.

We pay for downtown development and get seasonal businesses for it.
We pay for down town publicity and get drunks urinating on buildings and drunken parties by video producers.
And yet store fronts go empty while Mayfaire is jamming.
I am getting severely frustrated by all of this....

Vog

Saffo

"Saffo says he is pleased with the way the marketing money was used to continue to promote downtown."

Of course he is...he's never met a taxpayer dollar he wasn't afraid to spend.

What a joke

What a joke

Oh Please

tell the Mayor not to inhale the hair spray. There is a distinct relationship between the 2 bodies with "Stogie" Hinnant at the head of the pack.

Tom

What a bind they're in

Carcinogens from second hand cigar smoke.

Or "huffing" Lady Clairol hairspray.

Perhaps the answer is to tell Mayor and Council breathing is no longer allowed.

I would pay to attend that council meeting.

Vog

You won't have to pay

directly.

They're moving ahead with that access channel.

Only unanswered question is who gets to control the mute and cut off buttons when topics hit too close to home.