‘No’ vote misinterpreted
On Dec. 11 at the Spokane Valley City Council meeting, the council members had to decide how to allocate $50,000 of lodging tax monies that were in excess of the $380,000 projected in the 2012 budget. After hearing the suggested allocations by various council members, the council voted for Chuck Hafner’s proposal, passing it by a 5-2 vote. I was one of the opposing votes.
There seems to be the perception that a “no” vote on the City Council equals lack of support for Valleyfest, our 25-plus year Spokane Valley community celebration. This is just not true! How could anyone even guess as to the motivation of the no votes absent of any discussion? We do feel, though, that the monies collected from the lodging tax should be allocated to those organizations that help to provide the tourists that stay in the overnight accommodations that bring in that tax money.
It is a misconception that the city of Spokane Valley organizes or owns Valleyfest, which is a nonprofit event. The question is not whether we are going to support the activities of Valleyfest, but rather to what extent. The council will be determining more on this at our winter retreat in February.
As for the two opposing votes on Dec. 11, the vote was not against Valleyfest, but rather a vote on the total allocation put forth.
Arne T. Woodard