The 2015 “streamlined” budget that was presented by the Park Finance Office last month remains a contentious issue among residents, with some in the business community calling for a full re-think.
“I think we are owed some kind of explanation, as well as a full accounting, not this shoddy business that they’ve offered us,” say members of the Park Association of Shops and Services (PASS).
Also calling for a free and full public discussion of the matter is Wyatt Whistlepig, Jr., organizer of The Park’s Groundhog Day celebrations.
Not surprisingly, Whistlepig is not at all pleased with the 10% of the budget that is earmarked for “special events.” He says he has no idea how much of that 10% will go to Groundhog Day.
“Special events?” he asks. “Groundhog Day is so much more than a ‘special event.’ It’s the backbone of our community,” he says, exasperated.
“I’ve dealt with cutbacks and surpluses … back and forth. And last minute, too. But this is the most outrageous allocation of funds I’ve ever seen.”
The Department of Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations is also calling for a re-do of the budget.
At her office this morning, Aintza Kanariar, Director of Public Relations for the department, went on record as saying her department “cannot function with only 10% of the budget.”
“Are they forgetting how important these events are?” she asked.
Though reluctant to lend her support to the idea of a full-blown protest, Kanariar said she hopes the Archons and the PFO “take note of current sentiment.”
Meanwhile, both PASS and a number of The Park’s refugee and immigrant aid groups have organized what they are calling a “massive protest” to be held on Wednesday. Plans so far are for protesters to meet in front of the Ancient, Open-Air Theatre.
“We have no doubt that we’ll be able to get our message out this way,” says Whistlepig.