Those same people were told that the current committee and its chairman would “continue to operate as they have in the past” making decisions about what would take place during the annual event and dispersing of funds as they had done in the past 32 years.
And by coming under the umbrella of the city’s Renaissance Committee the festival would now have access to large corporate donors who would be able to give funds due to the new association.
It is worth noting that a vast majority of Ham Festival Board members were never notified of the meeting – whose plans were obviously cut and dry prior to the meeting – and never had a voice in the discussion.
Those who were there supported the decision to let the Ham Festival fall under the leadership of the Renaissance Committee with the understanding the original board would still be making all the decisions.
As a matter of fact, the person in charge of Renaissance insisted that she did not want the responsibility of running the operation of the Ham Festival and that decisions would be left up to them as to the planning and financing.
That was then.
This is now.
Since that meeting the chairman of the Ham Festival Committee has given over reigns of the Festival planning to the city. Also relinquished has been the authority of the chairman in running the business of the meetings.
Whether voluntary or not, we don’t know, but it’s a fact the Ham Festival chairman - or committee - has had little input since the city’s take over and promise of “nothing will change.”
Don’t think so?
Then ask the youth of our county who enjoyed entering agricultural events and being rewarded with monetary prizes in past festivals. City officials (not the Ham Festival committee) have determined the events are too far in advance of the festival; so therefore don’t deserve the funding.
Hopefully there will be enough supporters of our youth and their participation in the Ham Festival to convince members of the city’s finance committee – who now apparently must approve expenditures for the festival – to change their mind. With elections coming barely a month after this year’s festival, they would be hard pressed not to continue to fund the youth activities.