The Temecula City Council loves to tout their balanced budget, crediting that triumph to running the City like a business. Well, our City Business must have plenty of money to waste, because they certainly do that. Imagine if your own business paid it’s supplier to deliver a product to your customer, and then allowed that supplier to collect and keep your profit. How long could you stay in business?
In what’s described as a”belt tightening” move, the City has shortened the season of the holiday ice skating rink, because it apparently costs us over $2600.00 a day!
What the heck? It loses money?
Certainly, it’s not appropriate for government to make a profit, but why put so much effort into wasting it?
On October 25, 2011, the Temecula City Council approved payment of $45,000 to Studio 33 Productions to set up and operate the annual Christmas skating rink attraction in the city hall plaza. Last year, the council wasted $90,000 on the same rink, so, of course, this year we “saved” $45,000! At least, that’s what the council wants you to think. But don’t worry. The citizens get to make up the difference since the skate rental fees are going up to pad the pockets of the rink operators.
OK, so the city owns the land and parking structure. It contracts with a private company to supply and operate the equipment. The company charges and keeps admission price, plus skate rental fees, and gets free advertising. So, why aren’t they paying us rent at the very least, OR a concession fee at best? Evidently, the contractor can’t make a profit with only 12,400 customers a month, so we subsidize him, or somebody, to the carol of $2647.00 a day. Well, Merry Christmas! That’s like paying to pet your own dog.
The idea is to “help Old Town businesses by luring potential customers” and consequentially increasing sales tax revenue to the City. Sound great, but as this “deal” costs the city at least $45,000 in subsidy, those Old Town sales alone would have to swell by $4,500,000 in one month, just to offset the investment with our take of the tax increment. Something else is going on here, besides giving Maryann Edwards yet another venue to sing and skate in. Or, it could just be that simple, and that wouldn’t surprise a lot of people one bit.
Here’s an idea. We go out for bid and find a Company that can figure a way to make a profit with 12,400 customers a month. We let him keep all the proceeds from those customers. We don’t pay him anything. He benefits. The shopkeepers welcome increased traffic and sales, and the City realizes a modest increase in sales tax revenue. Everybody has a good time, and Maryann still gets to squawk and spin around the rink like some past-prime Peter Pan.
If we can’t find a contractor willing to take that deal (fat chance) we shouldn’t have an ice skating rink this year.
Contact J F. giggins at: