City Hall has been criticised for collecting fees outlined in the city code. Since nobody likes to pay fees, there are requests for waivers. One request got traction in a Channel 7 story.
Let's have a Paul Harvey moment and take a look at the "rest of the story."
This is not the type of story that the news media just happens to want to uncover. It's the type that was shopped in order to pressure City Hall to waive fees.
On Monday, lawmakers received three requests to waive various fees. In all cases it was because the user was a "not for profit." Council rejected "waiving" fees, despite knowing that news stories like this would be the result.
Council also has approved two years in a row a $5,000 appropriation to DPAO for their concerts and the city constructed a pavillion requested for use in these events.
The modest fees do not offset all the costs associated with running a Recreation Department, nor are they intended to. They do serve as a reminder what is received has value, and frankly one thing that Council wanted to end was the practice of waiving fees as it had, in part, resulted in situations like the Arena Gate scandals outlined in a scathing audit done in 2011.
If there is not going to be a fee for something, the law should be changed. Otherwise the law means nothing as why wouldn't everyone ask for a waiver ?
We recently had a situation like that with field rentals for softball tournaments where the fee structure, when applied, resulted in unintended high fees. Rather than look the other way, the law was changed to something more fair.
Council expects staff to implement the ordinances on the books and I for one support our new parks superintendent when she enforces the rules as written.
If someone wants a fee repealed, there is a legislative path to do that, although its a process that should occur earlier than the day before an event.
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