2011-12-29 / Letters to the Editor

Issue with town is ‘poor management of funds’

In response to the recent article on the Dec. 12 Town Council meeting (“Islanders pack Town Hall to debate future of Fort Getty,” Dec. 15), I would like to make a few things clear.

It was stated in the article that I said I was open to ideas at Fort Getty as long as it still brought people to my ice cream shop. I want it to be perfectly clear that that is not what I said and that the paraphrase painted me in a very selfish light. What I said was that I am open to ideas for Fort Getty if anyone can show me an economic model that will produce the same or better income for the town while also driving people to the local businesses like my ice cream shop, McQuade’s Marketplace, the hardware store, and the other restaurants and cafés. I just don’t see any viable programs based on today’s economic state that will do what the campground does.

If we want solid data we should simply look at the data from the last 35 years. The campground has brought not only income to the town coffers but to the merchants as well.

The issue is poor management of funds by our town managers and councils. It has never been run like a business and therefore has fallen apart. The pavilion should never have fallen down the way it did, it was just never maintained. If they just spent the money on maintenance that was spent on renting a tent for the summer, the pavilion would still be there and we would probably not be having these conversations or blowing money on consultants. It’s a symptom of poor government and misallocation of funds.

Let’s not turn Fort Getty on its ear just because the town managers proved once again they don’t maintain their infrastructure. If we want to fight about something perhaps we should be fighting for a qualified governance and vote in and hire people who know how to run a business and make sound financial decisions rather than try to take apart something that helps fund our recreation department.

Let’s allocate the funds where they should be and for once give the rec department the money to do the job they are all qualified to do. I am quite confident that we can have some of the things other folks would like to see at Fort Getty, let’s just let the campground pay for it – there is plenty of space. Business 101.

Paul D. Sprague


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