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Letters to the editor — Friday (1-3-2014)

Tourism Authority
doesn’t seem to care
Clyde, Salisbury city officials and downtown merchants deserve praise for their last-minute organization of the Bell Tower New Year celebration. Clyde, you are right! The 40-year tradition is well worth saving. As citizens we need to ask why DSI chose to ignore this annual event.
The DSI board has been blamed for the cancellation, but why were they forced to make the decision at the last minute? Boards, as a rule, make decisions based on information they receive from paid employees. Molly Ruff, project coordinator for DSI, works for James Meacham, who is the executive director of the Rowan /Salisbury Tourism Authority.
Why did DSI wait until 3 p.m. Monday to send an email that informed merchants the Tuesday night event had been canceled? Stating insufficient manpower as the excuse for cancelling the event shows a lack of concern and poor planning. If DSI needed more people to help with the event, surely they knew that was a problem before Monday afternoon.
Is there a pattern of poor organization? The same excuse, lack of manpower, was used several years ago when the Tourism Authority decided at the last minute not to have a Rowan business information tent at the Historic Salisbury October Tour. There was no call for volunteer help. In place of the manned tent, the Tourism Authority placed several kiosks with selected brochures at a few tour locations. If your business did not have rack cards you were not represented.
The Tourism Authority is supported by hotel tax dollars and it controls DSI, which is supported by Salisbury businesses’ tax dollars. The Tourism Authority has the tax dollars to support events in Salisbury and Rowan County, but the authority leadership doesn’t seem to understand or care about the events folks have held dear for years and years. The downtown Salisbury businesses pay for the events that promote downtown. They deserve better representation.
— Karen C Lilly-Bowyer
Salisbury

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