View Full Version : Controversy surrounds Bethany July 4th event

07-05-2005, 01:19 PM
The controversy continues around the Bethany July 4th Event. Should the city have put together such an expensive 4th of July Festival when they couldn't pay expenses to fill 2 empty firefighter spots. I'd be interested to hear your opinions?

"Stir surrounds Bethany event

By Scott Coppenbarger

The following is a script from a NEWS 9 broadcast
While the parade was all smiles, behind the pomp and candy-throwing is controversy.

Scott Coppenbarger explains the conflict over public safety.

The parade is just one element of a big holiday event including Kenny Rogers' concert tonight.

Some wonder if it's worth the price since the city's trimmed its budget -- and some firefighters along with it.

Firefighter Mike Dorris is worried because the city wouldn't fill two vacant firefighter spots in the new budget.

He questions the necessity of Bethany's $150,000 Centennial Freedom Festival that lost $107,000 last year.

As workers set up up for this year's event, the city manager defends it and expects it to break even. Sponsors are paying for it, including its $75,000 headliner, country music star Kenny Rogers.

City leaders say its potential money in the bucket brought in by visitors through extra sales tax as the event grows.

Skeptical firefighters sound a warning:

Bethany is considering two options to replace the vacant firefighter spots: a new utility fee, or bringing a half-cent sales tax to a vote.

The Centennial Freedom Festival is underway as we speak at Eldon Lyon Park. Music begins at 6:45 p.m. with Kenny Rogers expected to take the stage around 8:30 p.m."