This is Viewpoints for Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14, 2014 

Seed money

Former City Councilman Mike Cranford wrote last week to, as he put it, “fill in the blanks.” He certainly has a different perspective on local governmental support to museums, describing it as a “bailout.” Rather than a “bailout” or, in his other term, a “handout,” I would call such support “seed money.” Macon is a small market area, and if it is to have successful museums those institutions will always need a diversity of funding sources. Public money provides the stability and base upon which hard working, creative staff and volunteers build additional, more erratic, private sources.

Without a level of investment that insures ongoing operations and seeds programs worthy of support, it would be impossible to build an audience that can draw donor participation. I should think his experience leading the recently closed Children’s Museum might underscore just how impossible that is. He is right that public officials have often moaned about the allocations and waved the cudgel of cuts during budget hearings, and of course, such allocations are not a core governmental function like public safety. But it comes down to what sort of a community we want.

I don’t play golf and have never been to Bowden Golf Course, and that too, may not be a core governmental function. But it is part of the infrastructure that makes Macon a good place to live and do business, and it is certainly worth the several hundred thousand dollars allocated to it each year.

Past political leaders had the vision to enrich our community by investing in the organizations and institutions that now find themselves on the chopping block. While those decisions must, appropriately, be revisited with each budget, I have to believe that those we have entrusted to manage the public weal in 2014 will prove equally visionary and find a way to protect and maintain those investments.

-- Nancy Anderson

Macon

Strange quotes

The deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was quoted, by John Brogden, “I am ashamed to be an American” and “the horror that is America is disgusting,” reminds me of another American who stated, “I have never before been proud of my country.” I won’t tell you who stated that, but to give you a hint she is now our first lady.

-- R. Curl

Warner Robins

Set up?

Well, well, our resident dictator has set up our troops in Afghanistan for slaughter within a year. Impeachment or slavery. There is no middle ground!

-- Gil Switzer

Warner Robins

Godsey column

A friend had alerted me to R. Kirby Godsey’s June 1 column, “Bigotry, prejudice, fear and hatred conquered by grace,” which I had overlooked. I was astounded and blown away at the wisdom and true godliness of his reasoning. There are many quotable statements in it but my favorite is: “For ours is not to judge. Ours is to live with outrageous love.”

This column can be accessed on macon.com and is well worth looking up by anyone. I had previously experienced Dr. Godsey through a Sunday School class he had addressed and through one of his books. I was much impressed with him on both occasions. He is a local treasure, and we should be alert to anything he says or writes.

-- James Swift

Warner Robins

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