Originally created 08/31/97

Wants city to keep DeVaney's promise



In an editorial published Aug. 7, you accuse the Augusta Commission of playing "racial politics." At issue was the Commission's decision to give the Augusta Mini-Theater $400,000 and the Imperial Theater $350,000. Nowhere in the editorial is mention made of former Mayor Charles DeVaney's promise of $750,000 to Augusta's minority community for the development of a cultural affairs center in exchange for its (the minority community's) support for the 1-cent sales tax initiative. The sales tax increase passed, the money is available and the time for promise-keeping is at hand.

Tell the truth: Hasn't the Imperial Theater become something of a financial rathole? Haven't the folks in charge had time and money enough to make a go of it? The fact that they have failed to do so leaves us to draw one of only two possible conclusions: Either the folks in charge of the Imperial Theater are just ditzy dilettantes or Augusta's majority community is simply oblivious to the Imperial Theater and its goings-on.

The latter conclusion is probably the more reasonable, but neither proposition should serve as the basis for continued feeding at the public trough.

The plain truth: If the entire $750,000 had been given to some real crackerjacks like the Rubio brothers, instead of to dueling deadheads like the Imperial and the Augusta Mini-Theater, the Commission and the taxpayers they supposedly represent would probably have something to show for the expense.

Smart money finds smart people. Unfortunately in Augusta, it seems that dumb money always finds dumb people.

Jody O'Connell, Augusta