'Give me a conflict' Cheerleading admission fee at fair divides board PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by By BILL RYAN Sentinel Farm Editor   
Saturday, 30 January 2010 08:50
File photo. Lakota junior high at the fair's cheerleading competition. (Photo: Aaron Carpenter/Sentinel-Tribune)
The cheerleading committee for the Wood County Fair received both good and bad news at Thursday's meeting of the Senior Fair Board.
At previous meetings there had been discussion about the possibility of moving the popular event away from its Friday night slot in front of the grandstands. That was put to rest, as it was confirmed the cheerleading contest again would occupy the Friday night grandstand time frame.
However, despite the objection of those who run the event, the board voted to institute a $2 grandstand admission for spectators.
Rather than study the idea, the hasty proposal was enacted. It was originally raised as a suggestion as one possible idea for the board to help cover declining cash resources and increasing expenses.
There was no discussion nor indication in the motion if there was any age cutoff, as per fair custom, for free admission. Based on the motion, even small children would be charged.
That oversight will likely be changed.
Krysteena Brown, co-chair of the cheerleading committee, attempted to table the motion, but in a narrow vote, the tabling motion was defeated. The board then approved, by a 13-5 vote, to implement the grandstand charge. Some members were absent, while others failed to raise their hands when the voice vote was not sufficient.
Brown unsuccessfully argued the competition does not cost the board any money, and despite not showing a large profit as an event, the additional revenue generated through gate admissions on Friday nights is directly related to the popularity of the contest.
Those voting in favor of charging the addition admission noted the profit shown at other events as well as the board's ability to successfully have gate admission for both demolition derbies. More than one board member also noted the fees they pay when attending school-sponsored and other youth athletic or other competitions. Brown attempted to counter that thought comparing the proposal to charging someone to enter the school building and then charging them again to enter the gymnasium.
Earlier, many letters and e-mail correspondence regarding the cheerleading event were circulated among the board.
After the meeting, both Brown and fellow co-chair Cindy Harter stated they believe it was an ill-advised move. They indicated they have done extensive research and think the board erred in its decision.
Harter said rather than generating more income, they will likely lose money as fewer squads and fans may attend, thus losing those $6 gate admissions.
Both Brown and Harter are seeking alternative plans to bring back to the board at a future meeting. They said the committee was not given adequate notice nor consideration on this decision. The proposal was not on the board's agenda for the meeting.
In a less controversial decision, the board approved moving the Free Tent from its position near the Junior Fair Building to a more central location along the midway between the Annex Building and the Administration Building. The commercial tents in that area will be relocated to the west of the Home and Garden World building near the main gate.
Various board members reported on the sessions they attended at the recent state convention for fair operations. Ideas mentioned for future discussion and planning included handling conflicts of interest, requiring more background checks for those who are involved with children, reviving the fair manager's position, using the services of an accountant and establishing a fair foundation for fund investments.
In other areas:
¥ The grounds committee and the board are aggressively looking at options for the roof of the Fine Arts building.
¥ Nancy Aurand visited the meeting and asked for some ventilation, fans or other solution to the heat in the goat barn.
¥ Representatives from the Junior Fair Board requested and received approval for the board to supply paint for the youth board to paint some barns and signs.
¥ It was reported an agreement has been reached for the concert act, however, the headliner cannot be announced until the contract is signed.
¥ The board approved the contract for publishing of the fair's premium book.

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