San Diego City Council President Scott Peters took exception to my posts (here and then here) on his and the rest of the City Council’s benevolence to the opera (and the lavish public praise they got in return).
This is an unfair complaint in a couple ways. Each year the City dedicates a certain portion of Transient Occupancy Tax revenues to the arts; the arts organizations themselves, through the Arts and Culture Commission, decide who gets the money. Since I have been on the Council, we have consistently followed the Commission’s recommendations virtually to the penny.
City Council members don’t have personal discretionary money to spread around as we see fit. I don’t get or need a trip abroad, or anything named after me. But through our collective budget votes at the City Council, I’m proud to support the arts. If the Opera competed successfully for a chunk of City arts money, good for them. It’s nice (and smart) for the Opera to let us and everyone know that they appreciate our votes to fund the arts. What’s the big deal about manners? In the words of arts icon John Blutarsky, “It don’t cost nothin’.”