Jay Davidson's call for additional government support for the Baltimore Grand Prix ("Grand Prix needs more from city," Dec. 4) begs for a response. He confesses to naivete, poor management practices and heeding bad advice from consultants but believes the problem is the need for additional financial considerations from the city government.
It is nowhere apparent that there was a realistic business plan for this event, a plan based on the least favorable results and budgeted accordingly. If the expenses came as a surprise, I have to ask why. Everything Mr. Davidson enumerates could have been (and should have been ) quantified before the event. There has been no transparency about either this plan, if it even existed, or an accounting of the proceeds and the disbursement of funds to settle the organizer's obligations.
The supposed luster this event adds to Baltimore is questionable and fleeting. I want to point out that roughly the same number of people would be in attendance at two Ravens games with far less cost and inconvenience.
I am a resident of Otterbein with the rear of my home facing Conway Street. I am concerned that continuing this event will not only cost tax dollars but result in declining property values. These tax dollars, which are, of course, based on property values, are significant. Mr. Davidson dismisses the very considerable inconvenience generated by this event in one sentence, which pretty much characterizes his attitude to all of those who were "inconvenienced."
I am also a city employee. Each and every day, I see my own department and those I interface with struggle to maintain services in the face of ongoing budget shortages. This is not the climate in which to talk about offering additional government support to an event which is a proven loser.
Before offering additional considerations, I think the city and citizens need to see an accounting of the income and expenses of the race.
Laurie Blumberg, Baltimore