At least ten things that the Ole Seagull is positive about!
by Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull
published: Sep 24, 2006
1. He is positive that everything he writes in this column is positively only his opinion. He’s positive that’s why the column is on the opinion page and not published as a news article elsewhere in the paper.
2. He is positive that if people don’t turn out for the Branson Board of Aldermen’s meeting at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, Sep. 25, and express their opinion, that the board will act on the planning and zoning changes for the erection of a 300 foot, 25 story cement and glass “symbol” to the “New Branson,” located at the very gateway to Branson, without their opinion being heard. He is positive that some believe it is “an affront to anyone with respect for the land,” that it is not consistent with “maintaining the quality and beauty of our areas landscape,” or the “natural beauty of this area” that is so “extremely important to our tourists and residents and must be protected if we are to continue to be a top tourist destination.” He is positive that he agrees with those statements.
3. He is positive that the increased tourism figures reported for the first six months of this year had more to do with the marketing strategy that the City of Branson and the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce put into effect about two years ago than either Branson Landing or the convention center combined. He is positive that Branson Landing was not open for the vast majority of the first six months of this year and that the convention center has not yet opened.
4. An Ole Seagull is positive that if this marketing approach, adequately funded, is continued for the next few years, that it will bring more visitors to Branson than Branson Landing, the convention center, and the “New Branson” combined. That is if Branson’s current potential visitors don’t get conflicting marketing messages and marketing funds are not diverted in an attempt to specifically develop the new “higher class” Gucci, Prada or Armani market that the “New Branson” and its $400,000 plus condos, appear to be fixated on.
5. He is positive that Branson’s City Administrator, Terry Dody, said, “The city council is directing that $500,000 of the Tourism Tax be available for out-of-market marketing for the community's convention center. All expenses to operate the convention center, including marketing, will be paid from convention center revenues or the city's general fund.” He is also positive that if in fact the $500,000 for marketing is coming from the “Tourism Tax,” as Dody says, then it is impossible for it to be coming from either “the convention center revenues or the city’s general fund.”
6. An Ole Seagull is positive, based the wording of the enabling legislation for the District Tourism Tax, administered by the Branson/Lakes Area Tourism Community Enhancement District and the understanding of the tourism industry that helped pass the City’s Tourism Tax, that the arbitrary confiscation and use of a substantial portion of that tax, by the City of Branson, to specifically promote the community’s convention center, without the advice and consent of that industry, although, legal, is morally and ethically bankrupt.
7. The Ole Seagull is positive that political and financial compromises are necessary to operate a school district as large as the Branson School District. He is positive that the Branson School Board had their priorities right when they made the decision, based on the resources available at the time, to build classrooms for the districts students rather than a “locker room.”
8. The Ole Seagull is positive that there is more traffic using Highway 76, between its junction with Fall Creek Road and the Hollywood Wax Museum, on a daily basis, than there is using Branson Landing Boulevard. He is positive that it is safer for pedestrians crossing Branson Landing Boulevard than it is for pedestrians trying to cross Highway 76 between its junction with Fall Creek Road and the Hollywood Wax Museum.
9. He is positive that the public perception of a lot of people in Branson is that currently, and for the last few years, the emphasis of the City of Branson, has been on the “New Branson,” being built east of the tracks along Branson Boulevard, and in the Branson Hills area, rather than the other areas of Branson that are generating the revenues that are currently paying Branson’s bills. How many stop lights and pedestrian crossings are there on Branson Landing Boulevard? How many on Highway 76 between its junction with Fall Creek Road and the Hollywood Wax Museum?
10. He is positive that his opinions are but his own opinions, could be wrong, and that there will be both those who agree and disagree with them. He is also positive that the hundreds of published columns he has written, a lot of which are available on the internet at www.bransoncourier.com, will testify as to his personal belief in the truth of that which he writes and the facts supporting those beliefs. He writes with the full faith that his readers know that they are reading the opinion of one old man who, in terms of local clout and politics, is but “a lowly seagull walking along after the horse in the parade picking at the droppings,” will evaluate what they are reading in terms of what they know and believe to be true, and will then make their own decisions.
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