Sarasota News Leader

03/29/2013

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Sarasota News Leader March 29, 2013 OPINION Page 64 cash grant barely covers 6 percent of the fes- The county commissioners have paid a great deal of lip service to the need to create jobs tival's total expenses. and grow the local economy. When that It was distressing to hear Patterson justify growth comes at the behest of rich land develdenying the request because the event was opers who would plunder our fragile environ"making a profit." That an elected official, who ment, apparently that is something seriously deals regularly with government agencies and to be considered. But when it comes time for nonprofits, would use such an inappropriate commissioners to nurture an existing event term to describe the proceeds — every cent that generously benefits the local economy of which goes to the children's charities — and a charity for special needs children, their boggles the mind. words ring hollow. Equally fatuous was Patterson's argument that The Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Festithe county already had committed funds for val has been a significant event for Sarasota the hoped-for World Rowing Championships County for almost three decades. The charity at Nathan Benderson Park in 2017. That is that hosts it provides invaluable services for like a farmer electing not to buy his normal children in need in our midst. That the Counsupply of seed corn in the spring because the ty Commission would turn its back on both Legislature might legalize hemp growing four tradition and the needs of those children is years hence. The county's expenditures for deplorable — and a stain on every citizen of the rowing event will be negligible, unless the Sarasota County. organizers are successful in landing the World Championships. And if they were successful, May the commissioners see the error of their it would be such a huge boon for the region ways … and soon. % that it should be quite easy to justify additionLETTERS TO THE EDITOR al expenditures at that time. But to figuratively toss out all of our eggs because the county might have a much bigger chicken in four years beggars belief. Suncoast Charities officials have since appealed to the community for help in picking up the slack created by the shortsightedness of the County Commission. But, as they pointed out to the commissioners, Sarasota does not have the large corporate base to help fund this sort of event. The only realistic hope to save the festival in Sarasota County is for the commissioners to reconsider their ill-advised scrimping and make a larger grant to the organization. The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to Letters@SarasotaNewsLeader.com, with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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