August 28, 2014

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Restuarnat problems began long ago
Written by thillman   
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 5:21 PM

Editor:

It is too bad about the Mexican restaurant in Rising Sun. However the problems started over a decade ago.

The previous business failed with an unpaid loan to the city of $280,000 which was mysteriously forgiven according to public records.

The subsidized Mexican restaurant, Acapulco, was given a fully furnished business for $500 a month plus free utilities and maintenance (forever!).

For the next decade the Tourism Board has made a history of degrading and criticizing other businesses while applauding the virtues of their subsidized restaurant stating over and over, “Other businesses should follow Acapulco’s example and be more like them.

What virtues did Acapulco bring to the community? It offered no hope of local employment (from the time the gambling boat came, to the arrival of Acapulco, unemployment tripled in this county, while surrounding counties enjoyed lowered unemployment. But that’s another story).

Acapulco added to the welfare burden of this county. They were never vested and only drained money away from the community. It offered an unfair advantage to all other businesses and forced some competing businesses out of business and eventually humiliated the city this last year.

As for the Tourism Board, while continually talking down the businesses that they are suppose to support, they successfully wasted $7 million on failed generic campaigns passing off our community as ho-hum.

I was once appointed by the late Mayor John Roeder to be on this board but I eventually quit because of Tourism’s unprofessionalism by not formulating quantifiable plans and by their continual money issues with their own people and the State.

I visited Tourism about a year ago and to my questions they stated the following: They are not responsible for community economic development (which makes them unique as the only tourism board in the world that does not have that responsibility).

They don’t have to have quantifiable goals,what ever those are (which would hold them accountable).

They do not answer to either County or City. (Really?) They only answer to the State Board of Accounts (which they have been in violation four times, the most recent being this last year).

The City/County Boards are aware of this. But apparently it is more important to back their own foundering appointees by looking the other way than to support their community by assuring productive expenditures from their appointees.

Our “good time happy face newspaper” could inform us about these matters, but the newspaper’s Sgt. Schultz style of reporting (ref. TV Hogans Heroes) chooses not to inform or print submitted letters by others that offer possible solutions to these problems. This does not serve the community.

In conclusion, Tourism does not know enough to know that it does not know what tourism is suppose to know. Bad for our economy, bad for our community.

Wm. Rees

213 S. High

Rising Sun, Ind.