COMMENTARY: It should have been no money

I’m Bill Kingston with today’s commentary. Cornwall city council had four options on the table to decide on ad revenue for the Cornwall Colts and the Cornwall River Kings. We’ve heard of the splits of 70-30, 60-40 and 50-50 for the Colts and River Kings. The other option, that got nary a mention, was to give none of the teams any money. With a city that had budget increases of 18 per cent on the Benson Center, 13 per cent on the Cornwall Civic Complex and 35 per cent on the Aquatic Center this year, according to its budget, the city has to figure out a way to either cut costs or increase revenue. The city’s excuse is they don’t have a “dedicated staff member” to sell advertising. If the Cornwall Colts and Cornwall River Kings are a business, which they are, they should be self-sustainable. Some councillors were dismayed that they had to settle the contract because the two clubs couldn’t work it out. Like two spoiled children they should have been cut off. When you’re theoretically thrown overboard into cold water you’re not going to try to swim on your own – you’re going to stick together. Since both teams are private entities, neither have been forthright on whether the advertising in a make-or-break in their budgets although city staff say it would “severely hurt both teams.” City council could have delayed this – they have delayed other decisions – kicking the can down the road and said no advertising revenue. It would have woken these teams up to the fact they need to work together and council could have revisited the issue before the season starts this fall. But now they’re locked in to a decision for another three years – if there are two teams when 2018 comes around.

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