2003 - 2004
June 16, 2004
Most e-mails back cutting aid
BY MATT WILLIAMS
GREENSBORO - Even before City Manager Ed Kitchen recommended the city eliminate financial support for the Greensboro Generals, council members began to hear about the issue from their constituents.
Unlike previous years, when allies of arts and community programs pleaded with council members for more funding, financial support for the Generals was the main topic of discussion in e-mails sent to council members through the city's Web site.
A majority of the messages echoed Rita White, who wrote to oppose financial support for the team.
"I would feel much better about our city government if it would get its priorities straight," White wrote. "Funding a privately owned hockey team, in spite of the argument that this would help the Coliseum, is very low on my list of necessities. Better police protection and response time, for example, would seem a much more important use of our tax dollars."
On the other side were a half-dozen writers, most describing themselves as devoted hockey fans, that want the team to remain in the city.
"The Generals are more than just a product on the ice. The players live here 7 months (some year-round). They shop at area stores and eat at area restaurants," wrote Cindy Jones, touting the economic benefits of the team.
"I may not pay city taxes; but I do spend my money in the city along with thousand of others."
But writers like Jean Eason said the team should be treated like any other business that can succeed or fail on its own merits.
"Voters in this area spoke out several years ago against tax-supported sports teams and you should continue to respect that message. Let the folks that want spectator sports support them if they wish, and if that's not enough for the owners to make their profits, drop it."
Contact Matt Williams at 373-7004 or firstname.lastname@example.org