THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT — Members of an ABBA tribute band entertain recently at the Athens Theatre in Downtown DeLand. The County Council’s recent discussion of the possibility of ending $611,789 in supplemental funding for arts programs has touched off a firestorm of protest. The County Council was slated to discuss the topic again June 6. PHOTO COURTESY THE ATHENS THEATRE

Lack of cultural events will kill DeLand

Editor, The Beacon:

In the Beacon article “Desire for smaller, less-expensive government unites County Council,” the County Council’s cost-savings goals did not mention the decision to stop contributions to cultural groups.

Without cultural events, you will kill the town.

When people come to theaters, museums or art fairs, they also go to our restaurants and stores. They eat dinner before going to the theater; they shop in our stores when they visit all the booths at the art fair.

After the contributions to cultural groups stop, the only entertainment will be jumping out of airplanes and hoping the parachute opens.

When I moved here, Stetson University had a carillon. It played beautiful music. It was destroyed by a hurricane.

Now there is only the mausoleum with former Stetson President and Mrs. Hulley buried there.

Tiger the tugboat is not a cultural venue. It is more like the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Tiger is a symbol of the important part of the role that Volusia County played in World War II. The Tiger does not belong on your list of items to cut funding from. Never forget our history.

People won’t want to move to DeLand if there are no cultural venues.

Good, we’ve overbuilt and killed too many trees. The traffic is horrible. There’s hardly anywhere to park.

Go ahead, kill the town. Make it a mausoleum.

Ruth Ann Fay



  1. End the County tax dollar giveaways…..

    Our County Council needs to stop making our charitable giving decisions for us. ALL of the County tax dollar giveaways need to be ended. Every group begging for our money has a cause and a story, however, none of those causes or stories justifies the forcible taking of someone else’s money in order to give it away to a so-called nonprofit. Let the free market work, if a nonprofit is not valued by the community it should be allowed to no longer exist. We need our County Government doing a better job at taking care of its core responsibilities and that does not include giving our money away to nonprofits. We have over crowded and crumbling roads, infrastructure improvement needs, comp plan mandates to be met, inadequate public transportation options, littered right of ways and waterways, and other environmental issues that need to be addressed. And I must add, we can not keep adding more burdens on our young people who are just starting out here. A young person starting out here, in many cases, will be paying as much as 5 to 10 times more for property taxes compared to what some of us older established folks are paying. There are some who are pushing for more giveaways and higher property tax burdens who literally pay NO property taxes at all because of their special property tax exemptions. Young hard working people here are already facing an affordable housing crisis, taking more from them for giveaways will only harm them worse. And property taxes are just part of the problem, if a young person wishes to build or buy a new home in Volusia County they will also be hit with a government mandated impact fee of over $9,200. And let us not forget young renters pay property taxes through their monthly rental payments and their landlords do not receive property tax deductions like many of us established homeowners who have the benefit of Save Our Homes (limits the annual increase in the assessed value of homesteaded properties to 3% or the change in the National Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less.), homestead exemption, and the other property tax breaks offered.

    The best way to help our hard working young people thrive here is to pay them a livable wage, provide quality core governmental services, and keep their tax burdens low, and as they start to thrive allow them to make their own charitable giving decisions. Our future depends on them and they depend on us to do what is right.

    All of us should all be allowed to give as we can and as we wish to the charities of our choosing and we should not have our money forced from our pockets and given to the charities of another’s choosing for any reason. I call on the members of the Volusia County Council to end all of the County tax dollar giveaways.

    There is nothing noble or kind about going before your government representatives and asking them to take more from your neighbors for what you want especially when you do not know the struggles your neighbor may be facing and it is certainly wrong for someone who pays so little, and in some cases nothing, in property taxes to try and force those who are paying at a much greater rate to pay even more. Give as you can and let others do the same.


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