It’s unfortunate that former Corporation for Economic Development Director Mary Starkey sees it as a bad thing that Congressman Pence may be unwilling to go to the public trough for earmarked funds to benefit the Alexandria community for this gospel music museum venture.

I’m as much a fan of gospel music as anyone, but please tell me why public funds should be used for this? I appeal to Mr. Pence with regard to earmarks that the buck has got to stop somewhere; if not here, then where? If there are private investors willing to do this, as there apparently are, then go for it!

True “economic development” comes from that kind of investing, not federal subsidies. I believe it was less than three weeks ago, as reported in this newspaper, that the Alexandria community was concerned about the train traffic issues in their city; how would this problem not be worsened with a museum expected to draw up to 1,000 additional visitors per day?

I’d encourage Mayor Woods to keep his priorities in order for his community: let investors build the museum privately, and (if needed) focus on public funds for public infrastructure improvements. A “Small Town USA” designation generated from the efforts and pride of the residents of this small town is worth having, not one which the federal government labels that way!

We’ve got to get away from this attitude of entitlement for public funds; do we remember who it is that’s putting those monies in the federal coffers? 

Gene J. Brueggen


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