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Truth in advertising: Open letter to Jerry Richardson


Here in North Carolina, I’ve always been particularly proud that our state motto is “Esse quam Videri” – to be rather than to seem. If you think about it, that’s reason enough for the Charlotte Chamber and Regional Visitors’ Authority (CRVA) to finally adopt a truth-in-advertising campaign. And here’s a great starting suggestion:

Welcome to Charlotte-Mecklenburg…

Where our elected representatives on City Council go behind closed doors to give away $90 million of our tax money to a billionaire to put escalators in his privately owned stadium.

Where we then thank that billionaire for his “good-hearted” $10 million donation of our taxpayer money to name a college stadium after himself.

Where our City Manager “finds” additional millions for an unpopular streetcar project, while raising property taxes a whopping 7.25% because the city doesn’t have enough money to build sidewalks.

Where we fleece taxpayers with a stunningly mismanaged, unfair property revaluation — and our County Commission wants to refund the money stolen from our citizens with one hand, by dipping into our wallets with the other hand to (you guessed it) — raise our taxes to pay for our own refunds!

Welcome to Char-Meck, where our tapped-out taxpayers now wonder aloud whether to call Ripley’s — or U-Haul.

And so, with our current sorry state of affairs and our beloved state motto in mind, I write this last-ditch OPEN LETTER TO JERRY RICHARDSON:

Dear Mr. Richardson,

Although we’ve crossed paths a few times, we don’t really know each other. That’s too bad, because I keep hearing about what a generous, compassionate gentleman you are. Well, that’s actually quite a reassuring coincidence. I’m told that I’m a pretty nice guy, too.

Therefore, why not put our gentlemanly heads together for just a moment?

Far too many Charlotteans are unemployed or on fixed incomes and simply cannot afford the stiff property tax hikes being imposed by our elected city and county “representatives,” so I’ve got a great and generous proposition for you:

If you’ll please just return our $90 million, we’ll give you the escalators from Eastland Mall in return. Just come pick them up anytime.

If not, then — based on that generous spirit I keep hearing about — I’m sure you’ll honor our state motto and at least have the common decency to name that UNC-C sports facility after those who really paid for the naming rights — “Charlotte Taxpayers Stadium” or simply “Suckers Stadium” will do just fine.

Wayne Powers


Yes, truth in advertising is always a good policy. Esse quam videri!


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