Winkie Wardlaw is Right



City Councilman Winkie Wardlaw uncovered something very interesting: That we are financing one arm of San Angelo's local media with our tax dollars. The San Angelo Standard-Times receives money from the City of San Angelo Development Corporation (COSADC), your taxpayer dollars, for running its annual "20 under 40" spread that recognizes local San Angeloans under the age of 40 for their good looks. This never would have been highlighted if Wardlaw, the old stick in the mud, hadn't demanded that San Angelo's economic development complex bureaucrats cull their budgets. 

How objective do you think your local paper is when it's receiving tax dollars to run its operation? I hereby christen the local paper the "State Run Media."

This opens up a whole new opportunity for the team at San Angelo LIVE! All we have to do is create some sort of thing that recognizes photogenic people under the age of 40 and make it better. Then, apply for city money to pay for it. The only hook? We have to make it better. So, coming in 2014, the San Angelo LIVE! "21 Under 40 plus one over 50" campaign will be better because it recognizes more people, and doesn't discriminate based upon age. How do I get on the city council agenda to claim my money to run it?

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I'm assuming this is first come first served... So, consider this comment my official submission for a 21 under 40 award. Thanks.
Excellent! I'm writing my speech now. And of course, pulling strings with my councilman. See you at the awards banquet.
Exactly how does the paper receive money from the EDC? Is it in the form of a development grant? Or is it for advertising placed? There's a huge difference between the two.
I don't get it - the S-T gets money from lots of city government departments. Do you all think they run all those park advertisements and city activity advertisements for nothing? Am I missing something here? Look through a daily edition of the paper and add up the number of city-sponsored activites advertised - surely the good-hearted folks at the S-T don't run those out of the goodness of their hearts...?
FSM, Thu, 11/14/2013 - 14:27
Well of course the Times receives money. It's called advertising dollars. Are all the mentions on your Events page place gratis? Do you not accept paid advertising? Would you refuse an advertisement placed by the city?
FSM, Thu, 11/14/2013 - 14:31
Seems that "State Run Media." could be applied to you as well. I see that one of Hyde Interactive's projects was for San Diego:
I'll volunteer for the Over 50 Award! That's me in the photo so you can see how handsome I am. (Oh God! It's so hard to take myself seriosly sometimes! Carry on. Just ignore me...)
Two points really. First is that the City Government pays a lot of money to the "newspaper of record" every year for items such as election notices, requests for proposals, public notices, etc.. In addition it frequently has paid the Standard Times to produce brochures and advertisements for specific issues such as the Sales Tax and Charter elections. Add in the advertising budgets for organizations funded at least in part by City Hall and the amount of money spent is substantial. Second point is that the money that the DC spends can only be spent on economic development and projects tied to the 1/2cent 4B sales tax authorized a couple years ago. Not saying this is the best way for them to spend the money but what should they spend the money on? City Council could (and should) put before the voters the option to use 1/8th or 1/4th cent for street maintenance but until they do what projects should they be spending this money on? Way too much of it has gone to failed projects or candy store handouts. Look at the success of the industrial park for example. It's all very well to say where not to spend it but again, what are the better uses in keeping with the State Law and election results?
One final thought. Can you really say someone "uncovered" something that was part of the September 17th agenda packet (available on slide share here on page 396) and has been on the web since at least the Sept. 13? Spending $5,900 on this event may not be best way to spend SADC money but its a bit of a stretch to say someone uncovered information that was presented to the City Council and the Public and put on the web a few months ago. Being a good and frugal steward of the public's tax money? Yes I'll give him that. Uncovering something? Not so much.
Actually Joe, that's what's called research and getting background information. It's part of paying attention and preparing for council meetings and we used to expect all of our council members and news reporters to read stuff like this. A few still do. Helps to know what exactly is being brought to light. For example, of the $5,900 that SADC spent on 20 under 40, how much of that went to SAST for "services" and ended up as profit and how much of that paid for expenses such as rent and prizes surrounding the event, what was the total cost of the event, and how much was paid by other sponsors? What is the complete picture? Isn't reporting more than just repeating what's available from sitting in the audience or downloading something from the internet? And why are you surprised that one of the biggest businesses in San Angelo (and to the media bottom line, government is just another business that spends somewhat less then car lots and big box stores) spends a lot of money every year on advertising and other media services? Still, bet that all the government agencies in town spend less on the media in a year than Wal Mart does in a week. So who runs the media?
Just a thought (Yeah I think too much.) Isn't this about paying for NEXT YEARS 20 Under 40 event? We are talking next years budget proposal. Wasn't the event that just happened paid for out of the budget that was approved a year ago? Why the discussion about something that should have already been paid for out of this years budget, not next years?
Conchoinfo hasn't covered this yet because it was minor until some other sources started covering it. As far as budget is concerned, there are several points. First, because this was contracted for and much of it happened last year it probably should have been paid for (at least part of it) from last years budget. What's on the budget should be for future events. This budget was already approved by the city council as part of the budget process that started back in May with final vote in September. Winkie wants to amend the already approved budget to eliminate money spent on some of the affiliate expenses. Total just a little over $20k out of a total SADC budget of just over $6mil, with just over $2mil for economic development projects with the rest going to water development and other voter approved 4b qualifying projects. There do seem to be some budget questions that need to be answered still.

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