04/12/11 — Mayor defends $50,000 for air show

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Mayor defends $50,000 for air show

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on April 12, 2011 1:46 PM

Mayor Al King knows there are those who have scoffed at the city's decision to contribute $50,000 toward the Wings Over Wayne Air Show scheduled for this weekend.

But King says the investment will bring long-term payoffs for the city, and that tourists in town for the show will return.

"We have a chance to bring people into Goldsboro that have never been here before," he said."They're going to want to come back."

King also said that the majority of the public doesn't understand where the funds came from. He said the money was already earmarked as money for Travel and Tourism, leaving the city with limited options.

"We were looking for things to do that will bring in tourists. You just can't spend it on employee salaries," he said.

King said that left the city with a no-brainer decision to help fund the air show, mostly assisting with the event's entertainment and advertising bills.

"I wouldn't think twice about giving support," the Air Force retiree said.

He also had sharp words for those who questioned his and the Council's authority to make the decision.

"A lot of people don't understand it, but that's OK. I'm not here to do what a lot of people think I should do. I'm here to do what Al King thinks he should do," he said. "I know better about this city than anybody out there. I've been around it a long time and there are things that they think they know."

He said he often receives advice from the public through phone calls and letters, but that it mostly amounts to baseless chatter.

"When you listen, they don't know what the hell they're talking about," he said.

He encouraged citizens to attend public forums if they would like to know what's going on in the city or to offer input, although he said the only way to truly be involved in the decision-making process was to be elected to office.

"We don't want people dictating to us how we should run the city. If they want to make that decision, they need to run for and be elected to the City Council. The City Council decides what the city will do."

"We get input from people, but we are not dictated to by anybody. And if they think they're going to intimidate me, better come again. As long as I sit here, I'm going to do what I think, in my considered opinion and with the advice of our staff, is in the city's best interest. I don't care what anybody else thinks as long as I do that. I hope I'm clear."