To the editor:
Congratulations, you finally got it right!
In your Friday editorial, you stated in reference to the proposed taxpayer funded YMCA that, “the city is not obligated to spend money” on the project. However, for many months and in over a dozen articles you repeatedly implied that after the May referendum, that the YMCA project was a done deal. You never once reported that the vote in May was non binding and in no way obligated the Greenville City Council to plunge local taxpayers into debt on behalf of the YMCA. Your lack of clarity and accuracy in reporting on this issue has led to much confusion on the part of Greenville citizens. Please remember the job of a journalist is not to be cheerleaders for a cause, but to be honest brokers of the news.
At a time when our city cannot afford to write a check for $850,000 to purchase a new fire truck, how can the City Council in good faith obligate the taxpayers of Greenville by borrowing $15 million to construct a building for a private, tax exempt, non profit religious organization? Fire trucks are part of providing an essential city service. Funding charitable institutions is not.
As a life-long Greenville resident and long time observer of local government, I believe there was a time when if the “right” people in town wanted something from the City, they got it. I believe that time has passed. We are fortunate to have a City Council that asks the tough questions, realizes that money doesn’t grow on trees, and is willing to say no, when no is the right answer.