Cities are well within their rights to spend taxpayer dollars to increase exposure and bring tourists to visit, but how would you feel if your city council voted to spend up to $100,000 of your money to bring one of the most controversial television shows currently on air to your neighborhood?
That’s exactly what the Santa Fe City Council wants to do. The Council is prepared to open its wallet (and its heart, if the love is there) to convince the producers of “The Bachelor” to bring the show to Santa Fe, in hopes that the show’s popularity will tempt tourists and fans alike to visit.
Via New Mexico Watchdog:
The New Mexico Tourism Department is considering spending $50,000 of its own money to try to bring the production crew of the show, which features one bachelor choosing a potential wife from a pool of 25 women, to Santa Fe.
There have been reports the Tourism Department has already committed to the project, but Communications Director Rebecca Latham told New Mexico Watchdog on Thursday no final decision has been made.
“It’s still being discussed,” Latham said, adding, “There’s a huge potential for national media exposure.”
“The Bachelor” is one of the most-watched shows currently on television; this past season’s finale and post-finale aftershow boasted more than twenty million viewers. However, the show’s focus on the trappings of “love,” coupled with the alleged questionable morals of the participants, have caused some Americans to speak out against the popular show. Four of Santa Fe’s councilors agree with the dissenters, and spoke out about the Council’s decision to court the show:
“It’s a terrible show, awful,” said Bill Dimas.
“This is real money,” Councilor Ron Trujillo said Thursday morning. “I’m all for economic development, but I think there are better uses of taxpayer money than spending it on a soap opera. I don’t know why people watch this show.”
With both the city of Santa Fe, and the State of New Mexico, flirting with the idea of using the show to draw tourists, I think it’s fair for taxpayers to speak out on the issue. But should public opinion be considered by city governments when considering the considerable (and valuable) merits of hosting the show? MTV’s “The Real World” was just as controversial—if not more controversial—than “The Bachelor,” and its presence didn’t leave cities like Portland, Austin, and Boston in a state of bacchanalian ruin after cameras stopped rolling.
In all likelihood, the presence of “The Bachelor” won’t harm the reputation of the concerned citizens of Santa Fe; but the fact that both council members and citizens are getting vocal about the issue is proof that taxpayers are ready and willing to take ownership over what image their tax dollars are being used to promote.DONATE
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