Since City Manager unveiled his new budget yesterday, I thought I’d post a few suggestions on how to streamline that budget so that property taxes won’t have to be increased, and my Libertarian sensibilities won’t be offended any further with all the extras that the city puts out that government has no place involved in. Early today, I made a suggestion about the Flint Riverquarium, or as I call it, The Albatross (TM). The idea of privatization can work in other ways as well.
For example, the Albany Civic Center. By turning it over to a private entity, they would be motivated by profit to provide quality entertainment at an affordable price. The South Georgia Wildcats games sell out, so it’s not that people won’t go to the Civic Center if the entertainment catches their fancy and the price is right. However, Elton John tickets ran something in the neighborhood of $75. Did they actually think they’d sell that one out? Now, in all fairness, the turn out for Larry the Cable Guy and Steve Harvey showed that the current management has half a clue, but turn it private and see how that puppy performs. If it doesn’t, then so what? The city hasn’t drained millions of tax payer money into something that doesn’t do anything.
Next, how about the Albany Municipal Auditorium. It’s a beautiful building with a lot of history, and it has a lot of potential. But the city obviously doesn’t know what to do with it either. It sits vacant most of the time and does nothing but drain money for grounds keeping if nothing else. A private organization can bring in professional theater groups, orchestras, comedians (I happen to think the venue is great for up and coming comedians), and a whole host of possibilities. Granted, the city could do it too, but they aren’t. A private entity motivated by profit would try and get the best entertainment possible.
This, coupled with privatizing the Riverquarium would keep these things in Albany, provide more entertainment opportunities, and keep the city from having to foot the bill for venues that can’t pull their own weight under city management. Then, take the savings and direct it toward the police and fire departments and crack down on crime and increase public safety. Or, and here’s a really radical thought…why not cut taxes? OK, maybe that’s to much, but the rest is sound. What do you say Mr. Lott? You willing to try?