Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Ruse of the Creative Class

It's a great title - but I can't take credit for it. "The Ruse of the Creative Class" was the title of an article that appeared in the left-wing liberal magazine The American Prospect, January 4, 2010. The importance of this, is that "The Rise of the Creative Class" was a book written by Dr. Richard Florida, who is a proponent of the idea that a pro-gay city is a city of great economic health. According to Wikipedia:
Prof. Florida's theory asserts that metropolitan regions with high concentrations of high-tech workers, artists, musicians, lesbians and gay men, and a group he describes as "high bohemians", correlate with a higher level of economic development. Florida posits the theory that the creative class fosters an open, dynamic, personal and professional environment. This environment, in turn, attracts more creative people, as well as businesses and capital. He suggests that attracting and retaining high-quality talent, versus a singular focus on infrastructure projects such as sports stadiums, iconic buildings, and shopping centers, would be a better primary use of a city's regeneration resources for long-term prosperity.
What does any of this have to do with anything? In the aforementioned article in The American Prospect, Wilmington, NC is one of the cities mentioned that has been hoodwinked by Dr. Florida. At the cost of $250,000, Wilmington taxpayers found out such pertinent information such as, "how to be more gay-friendly"; and:
 "Wilmington, North Carolina, recently received some of the first recommendations from its $250,000 Catalytix investment, including such tips as "Consider hiring a blogger to create, stimulate and participate in virtual conservations [sic] about the Cape Fear Region."
Another one of Florida's recommendations, was to form an agency, funded by taxpayers, dedicated to discovering ways and recruting creative talent for the economy of tomorrow. That group, is called Cape Fear Future. According to CFF's website: "Cape Fear Future was initiated by the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and was facilitated by the Dr. Richard Florida Creativity Action Team, Catalytix Inc."

One of the most telling things of all is, that if a liberal, leftist, pro-statist publication like The American Prospect is willing to throw fellow leftist Dr. Richard Florida under the bus, then just how much of a ruse is all of this? 

In the economic condition that our city and its taxpayers are in, was a quarter of a million dollars an appropriate expense to lern about enhancing our "gayness" and blogging? This non-taxpayer funded blogger thinks not.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Wilmington: Another "Economic Development" Board? Guess Who...

The City of Wilmington's proposed budget for fiscal 2010-11 is available on the city's website here. There are some interesting items in the budget, some of which cannot go ignored. A new unaccountable and mysterious so-called "economic development" agency has been formed called Cape Fear Future. The 47 member list reads like a roster of the city's elitist power brokers.

Among those members include Mayor Bill Saffo's campaign manager, Louise McColl, who is conspicuously featured at the head of the table in a position of power, in the photo above, which is from Cape Fear Future's website. The Mayor himself, is a member, and is featured in the photo to her right. McColl does not appear on any list as a leader in the organization, although the only picture of the group meeting clearly shows her to be in a position of influence and power.

Why does all of this matter? And what does this have to do with the city's proposed budget? The taxpayers of Wilmington are paying the way of this group, with an inaugural contribution of $20,000 in this year's proposed budget. An amount like that will slip through without a whimper, but one must acknowledge the convenience of having the Mayor's campaign manager in a position of power with the organization, and the group receiving taxpayer funding. A portion of the city's proposed budget reveals the funding on page 24:

City of Wilmington - Proposed Budget 2010-11 - General Gov. FUnds

Also noted in this budget are the other handouts given to agencies such as Wilmington Industrial Development, Wilmington Downtown Inc., and the Wilmington Film Commission. With unemployment in the city hovering around 11%, and the film industry a mere memory in the mind's of long-time Wilmingtonians, what in the world are the taxpayers receiving for their money?

We continue to fund these organizations, who conduct their business behind closed doors, completely unaccountable to the public, and who wield extraordinary power to influence decisions by our elected officials - and we see absolutely no benefit from this. We the taxpayer should have every right to audit the financials of these organizations that receive our money. It is time for fiscal responsibility, accountability, and transparency in this city.

Other articles on Cape Fear Future:
Cape Fear Future about attracting and keeping good workers
New chamber initiative gets creative
Local business leaders want input on New Hanover Co. Superintendent search
Cape Fear Future's visionary
Wilmingon 2.0 - An Update

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Caster Sports, Inc. Under Penalty by Secretary of State

A corporation by the name of "Caster Sports, Inc.", which lists New Hanover County Commissioner Bill Caster's wife Diane as the principle, has received a letter of "Administrative Dissolution" by the North Carolina Secretary of State for failure to comply with the North Carolina Business Corporation Act by being delinquent in filing 5 annual reports. Caster Sports-Bill Caster-Letter of Administrative Dissolution

That's not all. Back in December of 2003, the same corporation, listing the name Diane Caster, received a notice of Revenue Suspension from the Secretary of State.

Caster Sports-Bill Caster-Revenue Suspension

There is absolutely no financial records for this company for what seems to be the last 7 years or so. Are they trying to hide something - or is this merely a 7 year oversight, or fault on the part of the NC SOS?

Perhaps some questions should be asked of Mr. Caster, seeing that he is asking for our votes, again, for yet another term as county commissioner. Why isn't his corporation adhering to the law and filing their financials like every other company has to do?

Federal Money Given to Wilmington

I often wonder why we can't efficiently and effectively operate our city responsibly on our own revenue sources, without having to rely on outside money just to make ends meet. Of course the reason is because too many handouts and special interest are the top priority in our local budget, leaving big gaps to fund necessities, and resulting in the all too familiar pleas of "revenue crisis" and "budget shortfalls" - which invariably lead to tax increases.

Ever wonder how much the federal government has a hand in local spending here? Take a look at this document, filed in November of 2009, which shows all of the federal dollars given to the city for projects we should either be able to fund ourselves, or cut from the budget.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Welcome to The Wilmington Watcher. This resource is dedicated to the revealing of evidence regarding public corruption, unethical behavior, and questionable practices employed by our local government and its officials.

Your input is not only appreciated, but absolutely necessary as we rely on your information and corroborative support for the evidence exposed here.

The vision of The Wilmington Watcher is to provide legitimate paper trails suggesting certain behavior or actions; given that in today's society freedom of information is relatively easily obtained.