I wonder if owning properties in the downtown Augusta area and paying taxes on those buildings count for anything to Augusta leadership. It's a valid question, considering there are many taxpayers wondering why we are being asked to consider funding this riverfront stadium.
The GreenJackets are a great minor-league baseball team, and Lake Olmstead Stadium is a great ballpark. With that said, we still have plenty of empty seats at this beautiful stadium every game, do we not? Is GreenJackets owner Cal Ripken willing to get private funding in lieu of taxpayers' funding?
Augusta government and leadership has this whole thought process of garnering taxpayer support for the stadium all wrong. Is it not a bit disingenuous at best to label the concerns from taxpayers as nothing more than "Citizens Against Virtually Everything"? Are officials not looking at the economics of the situation?
In a tough economic environment when people are concerned about what is coming around the corner -- such as job layoffs, businesses closing because of constant crime or property owners who struggle with drug dealers and thefts in their community -- asking for more money is not high on the list of our priorities.
With all due respect to Mayor Deke Copenhaver and Augusta Commission members, until they fix the crime and blight that surrounds the law-abiding taxpayers, and support the efforts of existing businesses and property owners, stamping a negative label on us will not make the inner "Pollyanna" come out!
Michele T. Holt
North Augusta, S.C.