Essex Town Council Declines Additional Funding for Car And Motorcycle Show
A request for a boost in funding for the Essex Rocks and Rolls Car and Motorcycle Show turned into a heated debate at Essex Town Council Tuesday.
Councilor Randy Voakes took a seat on the other side of the table to ask for additional $2,300 in funding for the entertainment portion of the show.
The Town had already agreed to put up nearly $3,000 for the event — organizers wanted closer to $6,000 initially.
The debate over paying for musical entertainment for the event quickly got heated.
Councillor Bill Caixeiro says funding for that portion of the event was intentionally excluded.
"We said we will fund up to $3,000 excluding any funding for entertainment and they were to provide receipts to prove they were using the money for the things other than entertainment," says Caixeiro.
Voakes was visibly upset after council refused to foot the bill for the entire event.
He told AM800 News downloading any cost to merchants would defeat the purpose of putting on the show to attract business.
"As councilors we sit in the back room trying to trying to figure out ways to bring people in. The car show last year brought a magnitude of people in. This year it's going to be bigger and badder, but with being bigger and badder comes a little more expense," Voakes says. "We can't ask people we're trying to boost business for, to pay us to do it."
But Caixeiro says footing the entire bill, isn't something the town's in the habit of doing.
"We won't fully fund any event, so I think funding 50% of the ask is fairly reasonable," says the finance committee member.
A policy that Voakes says, "is not even close to being true, it's just an excuse."
Voakes says he'd fund the remainder of the show out of his own pocket if necessary — But was adamant he shouldn't have to.
The 2nd Annual Essex Rocks and Rolls Car and Motorcycle Cruise will roll into town Friday, May 26th at Heritage Gardens Park.