From time to time, The Town of High Prairie and Big Lakes County councils receive “gifts” for sponsorship of events.
“Gifts” is a poor word. It is generally part of a sponsorship package.
For example, the Elks Pro Rodeo offers different sponsorship packages. If a business or government takes part, they get some advertising, mention on the public address system, maybe a flag or banner presented, and free tickets. The tickets are not really “gifts” but an extra incentive to sweeten the pot for sponsorship.
The question is what does council do with the free tickets?
Usually, the council forwards them to be raffled through local media. It’s certainly not a bad idea. There is some extra recognition through sponsorship that a contest draws. It is a little extra gravy for sponsoring what council deems is a good cause.
But, is it the best solution?
I will reference town council for the rest of this column, but it could apply to the county, Metis Settlements or First Nations. I would rather see town council reward the people who paid for the sponsorship in the first place: the town taxpayers. Wouldn’t that make the most sense?
I suggested in the past that the tickets be put into a draw where only the taxpayers of the town are eligible. That is, if town council gets four tickets, four names are chosen at random. Or, one person wins all the tickets.
My suggestion met a quick death but it is a new council so I will make the case again.
Those who oppose the idea can tear it down with many excuses. The big drawback is renters would not be eligible, of course. Renters do pay tax as part of their rent. Time would have to be spent compiling the list.
But the big plus is you are guaranteeing a taxpayer of the town is winning the tickets.
Plus, you can promote the winner in your newsletter, Websites, etc. to gain even more recognition and value.
I am arguing that any gift given to the town be given back to a taxpayer of the town. I do not agree with the fact town council receives free tickets to any event through sponsorship, paid by town taxpayers, to have it won by a person residing in Valleyview, Falher or Upper Rubber Boot.
Why are town taxpayers not rewarded first?
I am not suggesting that town council does not appreciate the support of its taxpayers. Under my proposal, the tickets received would guarantee a town taxpayer wins. It is a nice way for council to say thanks, and show they appreciate the support of its taxpayers.
The bottom line is this: taxpayers paid for the tickets, why are they not the ones with the best chance to win them?