Thursday's Board of Supervisors meeting will focus on serious matters including water costs, and I'll be there to keep tabs on that issue and other issues of importance. I've been a Board of Supervisors junkie for years.
But I'm also a culture junkie and have been so even longer, which got me to thinking Monday night as my wife, Jean, and I joined some friends to listen to one of Carson City's topflight duos playing at the Comma Courtyard. Sitting just feet away from the Carson Street project, I imagined being at the same venue a year from now during the eighth Jazz and Beyond.
The project will be long completed, culture will continue apace in Carson City and controversies over such things as water, the changing face of this capital community and the region -- to say nothing of the world -- will still be with us. And so will culture.
Culture is much more than just art in the park, music festivals and the like. It's classic car events, mountain biking, the rich history of our Blue Line area downtown, wine walks and brew fests, rib cooking contests and barbershop quartet competitions, Native American dancing and Cinco de Mayo.
As I listened to Me and Bobby McGee -- June Joplin and Bob Reid -- performing I mused about concerns I've heard that because I support and promote culture in my campaign for city Supervisor from Ward 4 that I'll send tax money toward cultural foo-foo.
First of all, that is just plain hogwash. Artisans must and mostly do stand on their own two feet, just like any business person. Certainly culture can use some help and gets it, just as do all of us.
And sure the city helps out with some events, providing protection from the Sheriff's Office or help from Public Works when appropriate. Sure the Brewery Arts Center has a good lease for the old Brewery building owned by the city.
Sure the lodging tax was upped recently to help bring in an arts and culture coordinator. Much of the heavy lifting in this area has already been done and I want to continue seeing progress. In no way, however, will I use significant tax dollars needed for public health and safety or, just as important, deferred maintenance that include road repairs to prioritize arts and culture.
At the same time, I'm fully aware -- as should we all be -- that a thriving arts, culture and event commitment with city help can and often is an economic driver in this and other communities. You need go no further than June Joplin and Bob Reid to know that. Joplin operates Comma Coffee, one of the city's small business food and beverage meccas.
Bob Reid, an old and valued friend of mine, is among the most talented people I know. He has chosen to be an artisan who makes his contribution in life -- as well as his living -- by playing and writing music. He also writes books, which those of us who take such fliers know aren't likely to make us rich but will contribute a revenue stream for us and a small mark in our society.
If you think artisans and their supporters don't contribute richness to our lives and to the local economy, you should give it some thought. They do, just as the cultural events mentioned earlier. If you think a Classic Car buff who puts hours and dollars into his love affair with his iron mistress isn't helping the economy, think again.
If you think Epic Rides mountain bikers didn't and won't bring money to this town this year and for the next four at least, think again. Culture is more than foo-foo. It's bucks in the bank. City government doesn't have to underwrite culture, it just has to encourage it. The rest will take care of itself.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!