With the recent revelations from the City’s task force to increase revenue at the Albany Civic Center and the Municipal Auditorium, we were regaled with ideas like tours of the auditorium and a Christmas basketball tournament. It’s just a shame that part of the problem with the City’s venues have nothing to do with awareness.
You see, the idea for a Christmas basketball tournament is all fine and good. I seriously doubt that it’ll do any real good as far as fixing the Civic Center’s woes, but I like basketball so it’s a wash. What really kicks on in the butt is the idea for tours at the Municipal Auditorium would raise awareness of the history and features of the auditorium. However, it seems the task force missed the problems.
Those who have rented the Auditorium recount horror tails of being required to hire certain personnel to do certain jobs, regardless of whether someone else could fill that role. This costs money that many non-profit groups don’t have, and then they get whoever the City thinks they should have. The stories that have been told of different groups’ experience would probably turn your hair purple.
The task force didn’t address those issues, though. In all fairness, it wasn’t their fault. The City of Albany basically stacked the deck, telling them that this wasn’t up for consideration, so they did the best they could with what they had. This is yet another attempt by the City to pretend to be trying to do something without actually having to do something. They’re pretty good at this kind of thing, too.
If the City were serious about booking more entertainment into these two venues, they would put everything on the table. They’d give the task force unbridled authority to recommend anything they think would improve the venues. The City should welcome suggestions that could reduce expenses and costs for their customers, but they didn’t.
No, they would much rather pretend that the problem isn’t them. The problem simply must be a lack of awareness of the history of the Albany Municipal Auditorium, rather than the requirement to hire particular folks for jobs that could be filled by others.
You or I would be willing to try just about anything to make it work. The City? They seem to prefer to create task forces that don’t actually do anything than to actually solve the problem. First it was consolidation, then the sign ordinance, and now the municipal entertainment venues. Maybe, when Albany finally implodes in ineptitude, we’ll get some results.
Of course, what else do you expect from a government that can’t even follow state law regarding open meeting requirements?
Written by Tom Knighton. Read his blog at SWGA Politics.com. A lifelong political junkie, Tom started out his adult life as a journalism major at Darton College before leaving school to serve his nation as a U.S. Navy Corpsman. Through the years, he has watched government from outside and inside. A former Reagan supporter, then later a Democrat, Tom now finds himself quite comfortable as a card carrying Libertarian and all around smart-elec.