If you really want to understand how the folks that run downtown Wilmington have NO understanding of how to run even a simple meeting, here’s the proof. The set-up is this, a power breakfast downtown, they knew they would have lots of folks because the gubernatorial candidates were both going to be there. So how do they embarrass themselves? Nobody involved with this endeavor had figured out that getting out of a parking garage would be a nightmare that costs businesses time and money. It’s happened before, been reported before, but nobody has changed anything! This is the letter from the Wilmington Business Journal folks about what happened today:
I want to apologize to people who endured a long wait to leave the Convention Center parking garage after today’s Power Breakfast.
The city of Wilmington recently added the ability to take credit card payments in the Convention Center garage. Instead of paying with cash on the way in, attendees now pay with a credit card or cash on the way out. However, with more than 500 people leaving at the same time, this process created a long delay to get out of the garage.
I want to let you know what we’re doing to avoid this happening again:
First, we plan to include the parking charge in the ticket cost for future events. Attendees will have their parking ticket stamped or receive some other form of parking validation so they do not have to pay on the way out. This should relieve congestion leaving the garage.
Second, there will not be a parking charge at Monday’s special “Power Lunch” event with Roy Williams. We asked the city of Wilmington not to charge for parking at this one event as a “make good” for the long wait attendees had today and because we can not retroactively charge people for parking who already purchased tickets. The city has so far declined this request. If the city will not cover this cost, the Business Journal will absorb it to ensure our guests are not inconvenienced again.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
Greater Wilmington Business Journal
Cape Fear Community College officials have started a drum roll for a state operated campus police force. But what justifies this move for presumed greater “security”? It’s not because of increasing criminal activity.
Interim President Frank Sells thinks the current contract with a national security firm is inexplicably “less than adequate,” according to a Wilmington StarNews report. (link) And his assistant director of campus security apparently wants to expand his little empire for “more control.” Pres. Sells also likes the idea because it’s a “trend” at community colleges. Further, he claims that campus growth and the downtown Wilmington location puts the college in “a pretty vulnerable situation.”
True, downtown is the locus of most criminal activity in Wilmington. But, so far, the college hasn’t been a crime target or a hangout for criminals. And trendiness certainly doesn’t justify this added expense and duplication, especially at a public college.
All this talk sounds to me like another government-concocted solution looking for a problem.
CFCC currently has three levels of security readily available with private, city and county police. In addition to several J4S security officers on duty around the clock at both downtown and north campuses, the college has contracts with the Wilmington police department and county sheriffs. However, apparently Pres. Sells doesn’t think these people are qualified or trained to know “how to respond to things,” in his learned words.
Although college officials can’t say what would make up full staffing or how much a college police force would cost, the StarNews reporter writes that they have already increased parking and security fees on students and employees—I’ll bet with more to come should this scheme be carried out. Further, county taxpayers will be paying more. Overlapping services and added administrative staff; and additional who-knows-how-many well-paid officers with health insurance and pension benefits will be piled on the taxpayers—more unfunded liabilities for the future.
College trustees seem to be on-board this new spending train. But, notoriously, they rubber stamp virtually any projects suggested by administrators. State university and college officials have a long history of unaccountability to the people who pay the bills. It’s time our state legislators acted to require justification for their many wants.Read full article » No Comments »