In "City Crawls Closer To Cool" (Feb. 16), Sam Boykin has a point — Charlotte greatly lacks in appeal for 25-to-38-year-olds (being part of this demographic, my partner and I know all too well). However, his proposed solution would do nothing to fix the problem. Boykin's plan would only swap one tax-funded activity for another when the real problem is that taxes are sky-high in Char-Meck due to the over-abundance of tax-funded projects. The taxes are the cause of the exodus to neighboring counties. The real solution would be eliminating tax-funded entertainment and allowing market forces to determine what activities come to Charlotte. I must agree with Councilman Mumford, as he is credited with saying in Boykin's article, "I don't see this as a government role to go out and build a stroll district."
From CATS to Bobcats, the citizens of Charlotte continue to be saturated with the burden of funding the whims of "The Powers That Be." Redirecting tax money from a $280 million stadium to "arts and cultural venues," as Boykin suggests, is simply picking another whim that is most certain to flop. If there exists a market demand for something, someone will move in and capitalize on it — it is a whole lot more likely to happen at lower tax rates, however.
You want the "Creative Class"? Scrap the stadium, scrap the public transportation system, finish the I-485 loop and give us back the leftover money so we can go out and celebrate the resulting economic boom with our entertainment of choice. Stop trying to tell us what we want. This is not the USSR for God's sake!
— Jessica Dunlap, Charlotte
Rep Board's Leveling Influence
Thanks to Perry Tannenbaum for his insights into the demise of Charlotte Rep ("Rep's Clumsy Lockdown," Feb. 23). The tragedy is all the greater in that it seems to have been avoidable. Many of us cringed when the Board trumpeted their goal to win a Tony because Charlotte deserved "world-class" status. Chasing image at the expense of substance enabled the Board to make good on their arrogant promise to "take Charlotte theatre to the next level." Unfortunately, that level was six-feet-under.
— Mark de Castrique, Charlotte
Board To Death
I want to compliment CL on your scathingly appropriate indictment of the late Charlotte Rep's Board of Directors. As the Managing Director of a small Atlanta arts organization (and, previously, a member of the boards of two others), one thing I have learned is that there are three kinds of board members: Those that know something and work toward the best interest of the organization; those that know nothing and do nothing; and those that know little and try to compensate by proving that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. The former pay careful attention to the staff and its programming concerns; the second vanish into netherland; and the third create fates like Charlotte Rep's.
There is a horrendous shortage of available, qualified board members serving the non-profit arts community in this country. Too often, boards consist of artists (who rarely have the necessary skills), people who wish they could have been artists, or ones who think that because they provide meaningful money they are entitled to day-to-day and artistic control.
Thus, there's a monkey's paw caveat in order to all arts organizations: Build your boards carefully and wisely, and be careful whom you wish for: You may just get them.
— Evan Guilford-Blake, Atlanta
(Sic) of CMS
CMS needs to be accountable. It is about time that this PC and bureaucratic Nonsense be gone from CMS, County and City Government. Well, it's our turn now and something is goanna (sic) change for the sake of our generations (sic). Our present CMS leadership sees our kids as a business. They don't know or want to solve the problems. Cause (sic), CMS would have to look at what their actions have caused!
Our CMS Schools Brought Following:
Our Children, Our Parents, Our Teachers and CMS Leadership-
The grades, testing went down and the kids get high. Free love, gay life style, no absolutes, abortion on demand that brought VD and Aids with no morality allowed. Gangs running rapid (sic) and violent crime on the rise. Today, no one knows right from wrong and their (sic) is blood on people's hands. CMS you had your turn at bat no more of your nonsense. Now stand back and see the truth come out. Watch CMS and our Government Leaders show their colors by passing the buck. Supt. James L. Pughsley and staff over two weeks ago rejected a textbook for new science book for elementary students. Interesting that committee's recommendation was toss (sic) away. The committee was overruled for a $12 million book adoption was approved without a board vote (sic)? It went to a company represented by former Board Chairman, Arthur Griffin.
Supt. James L. Pughsley and CMS will play their games but they will have to listen to Judge Manning. The community's (sic) need to speak out with boldness and conviction, we proclaim!
— Mark Alexander Palmer, Charlotte