“My mama told me to pick the very best one and you are it.”
Many of us remember old rhymes that used to help us make a tough decision and just pick one, already.
What choosing songs are the Columbus Convention and Visitors’ Bureau board of directors singing to decide which festivals to fund and with how much?
Large or small, we recognize the impact the myriad festivals presented to the CVB have on the community and the potential many of them have.
But CVB board member Bernard Buckhalter’s recently displayed penchant for funding festivals with unbudgeted extra, seemingly disposable cash is not the answer.
A more consistent policy is needed when allocating funds; simply deciding on the merit of each festival one-at-a-time can be as subjective as picking the proverbial hot potato.
And regarding those festivals, a host of questions come to mind. What is the propriety of politicians asking for money for their festivals from a board they appoint? Some festivals draw out-of-town visitors who spend money here and others draw primarily from the host neighborhoods and communities. Should these be funded differently? (We think so.)
And while we’re at it, let’s ask the big question: At what point can we expect these festivals to become self-contained and able to fully fund themselves?
Until that happens, let’s work out a well-defined system to allocate to festivals requesting funding. And let’s stick to it.
The CVB currently has a good set of grant application guidelines — requiring the submission of line-item budgets, as well as the anticipated impact of the festival presented — but they need to be adhered to.
We’d love to see more clarity, accountability and harmony from the CVB and festival organizers — something other than Mr. Buckhalter’s make-it-up-as-we-go approach.
So would the public.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.