The the editor:
I thought it would never happen. Finally, an elected official in Greenville has stated his opposition to taxpayer funding of a private organization to the tune of millions of dollars. I refer of course to the proposed YMCA project. That elected official as reported by your publication is County Commissioner Jay Atkins.
Mr. Atkins clearly has the correct view of the proper, limited role of government, something that can’t be said for most of his colleagues at the City, County, and School District level.
The YMCA is a great organization with a storied history and a record of doing much good for communities across the country and around the world. Which is all the more reason why the local Y should not accept government dollars.
When government at any level chooses winners and losers, as the City Council has done by approving the YMCA project, there is an inherent unfairness that cannot be denied.
The Y is a private, non profit entity, yet the City has handed them a taxpayer funded “jackpot”, while dozens if not scores of other worthy non profits did not receive the millions for whatever reason. This is just one reason government should generally stay out of the affairs of private organizations.
Ultimately, the voters will decide on the wisdom of giving millions of public dollars to a private organization. I’m quite certain a majority of those voting will approve the measure. I doubt any of the folks voting “yes” would ever come to me, stick a gun in my ribs and demand my money to build a YMCA.
However, when they can go into a voting booth and tell the government steal on their behalf to fund a non-essential pet project, they will do so with great gusto. It is theft either way.
I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Jay Atkins for his refusing to steal my money to pay for the YMCA. To the other government leaders in Greenville listed above, there is another “You” that comes to mind, but this is a family newspaper.