Letter of the Day: F

Categories:  News & Politics    Opinion
Monday, August 4th, 2014 at 6:05 PM
Letter of the Day: F by Jim Wertz

Today's letter is the letter "F".

"F" is for "fireworks." It's also for "forty-thousand." That's how much money the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership wants you to give so that the city can have its boom on the bay back next year.

In an email sent to its members on Monday afternoon, the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership says, "For the community to enjoy a spectacular 4th of July fireworks display, a minimum of $40,000 would need to be raised."

The request is made as part of Erie Gives Day, the annual day of giving sponsored by the Erie Community Foundation.

Erie Gives Day is an important and necessary fundraising drive for the region's many 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Legacy organizations like the Erie Art Museum, the Erie Philharmonic, and WQLN receive significant contributions from the community through this event, and smaller non-profits receive much needed infusions of capital from generous donors.

But the Chamber's call for funds to be diverted into a nascent fireworks fund seems misplaced at best. The city has rightfully suspended its funding of the annual fireworks display as part of its fiscal belt tightening. Other community groups that have contributed to fireworks in the past share the fiscal concerns of the Sinnott administration.

Perhaps, rather than asking citizens of Erie to come up with the funds for a future fireworks display, the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership could help reform the regional economy by focusing energy on its "core mission of providing the leadership to attract, retain and expand business in the region." That would be worthy of a fireworks display.

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