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MusicFest numbers don’t add up

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The Monroe City Council would be well served to watch an episode or two of ABC TV’s “Shark Tank”… and take careful notes. The Lake Tye Park MusicFest promoters are again asking for Monroe taxpayer’s money, all the while the current city budget is headed toward red ink. Rather than a solid business plan/proposal necessary to survive “Shark-Tank”-type scrutiny, the Music Fest proposal isn’t worthy of Mickey Rooney’s and Judy Garland ‘s “Backyard Musicals,” such as “Strike Up the Band.” At least Rooney’s and Garland’s characters were kids, and they weren’t demanding money from government reserves to put on a show.
The City of Monroe lost $36,000 on the 2013 version of MusicFest, entertaining just 467 paying customers and 700 in total. In 2014, these same promoters initially asked for $65,000. No, wait, now it’s only $20,000, and $20,000 of their own money … misery loves company? But the stated failure to draw enough attendance in 2013 was a lack of marketing, blamed on insufficient funds, thus the reason for the initial request of $65,000 for the 2014 version. What? Is this some kind of new math? The numbers (and logic) don’t add up.
If Mark Cuban was a Monroe City Council member he would laugh these guys out of the council chambers … and so should Monroe’s elected officials. MusicFest 2014 would not stand the scrutiny of a loan request of any bank manager or venture capitalist. The difference is the “Bank of The City of Monroe” is playing with someone else’s money … the taxpayers, so it would seem if there isn’t a reasonable return on investment, who cares? There is nothing about this proposal that makes sense, or will make cents. Monroe City Council members should quote another 1940’s actress, Nancy Reagan. At tonight’s City Council meeting, just say no!
Steve Groger

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