Some Patch users say First Selectman Herbst never should have chosen Michael Bolton. But the town needed to continue its summer concert tradition.
Herbst's cancellation of the concert was the responsible thing to do, and the economy and Pres. Barack Obama are to blame, according to others.
These have been some of the reactions to the weekend's announcement that the town's annual summer concert was cancelled for the second year in a row. Last year, it was Hurricane Irene, which also delayed school opening and knocked out power to some sections of town for as long as a week.
This year, it was the possibility of losing as much as $190,000. So far, town officials and the promoter have not said how many tickets were sold.
Now, many questions have been raised. How much will the town pay for the cancellation? What will it do next year? Who will fund it, whether it be Trumbull Day, a concert, or both? Who will choose the act if there is another concert?
Herbst was not available on Monday and Recreation Director Mary Markham declined to comment.
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But three town officials chimed in:
- Town Councilman Jim Meisner: "I agree with Tim that having the town do this is probably not the right idea. Local businesses should sponsor this. I would use the highly successful Westport Blues, Views and BBQ Festival as a model. It was packed once again this year. The event is sponsored by Westport merchants but much of the organizing and labor is by volunteers. Last year, our annual summer concert was canceled in light of Hurricane Irene. We were fortunate that this concert was canceled due to the weather. The Finance Director has calculated that we would have lost $207,780 if the concert proceeded last year. This year, the Town would have lost $190,000 if the concert proceeded. As First Selectman of the Town of Trumbull, I cannot in good conscience allow the Town to be exposed to this type of financial risk."
- Board of Finance Member Andrew Palo: "The Bolton artist offer sheet does not talk about cancellation fees. In the terms section it does have the word 'Guantantee' next to the $60,000 amount. There is mention of addendums, but these were not provided to the BOF. At this point, I do not know how much the Town is at risk. It could be nothing, it could be $60,000. I'm sure the First Selectman has a good idea and hope he could answer after my posts. We have a BOF meeting on September 24th and I'm sure this topic will be discussed."
- Board of Education member Tom Kelly: "Let me first give credit to Mr. Herbst for releasing a press release which didn't try to blame the cancellation on the weather or something else beyond the First Selectman's control." Go here for the rest of Kelly's response.
Other opinions used colorful language to criticize Bolton's singing, adding that a more popular artist should have been chosen.
Another Patch user, Tim Hendrie, supported the decision to cancel.
"I think this was a wise and adult decision made by Mr. Herbst. I appreciate his concern for the tax payers of Trumbull. If anybody deserves derision it is Mr. Obama for presiding over a stagnant national economy," he said.
Then user "Don" pointed out, "You cannot praise the man for cancelling this event without recognizing the he was a large part of the initial decision to move forward with Bolton in the first place."