Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Charity Ball

By now many of you have seen the advertisements for Pottstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration.  One component of this month-long celebration is a Christmas Costume Ball for charity.  The event will benefit PMMC’s pre-natal clinic.  The ball will be held at the Elk’s and there are only 225 tickets being offered for $40 per person or $70 per couple.

This all sounds wonderful and certainly donating to charity is always great.  The Borough of Pottstown made a $4000 donation to help defray the cost of entertainment.  An 11 piece band has been hired for the event.

The borough’s donation was made using money from Pottstown Area Rapid Transit’s promotions line item in their budget.  This was done at the discretion of the Borough Manager and did not go before council.  Councilor Rhoads asked about this at last night’s Committee of the Whole meeting as councilors were unaware of this donation when contacted before the meeting.

I am wondering how this donation promotes Pottstown Area Rapid Transit?  Do we expect to gain new riders for PART from those attending the ball?  Are there not better ways to have used this money to encourage people to “Take PART”?  A few well placed ads in the Mercury would have reached more people.  I suppose the other thing that puzzles me is why this money was not used toward the Pottstown 4th of July celebration that tens of thousands of area residents enjoy each year?  Would we not have gotten more “bang for our buck”, if we are trying to promote PART, at a huge event rather than a ball for 225 people?

If our goal was not necessarily to promote PART, but rather to give to charity, should this money have come from another source?  Hint: Tom Hylton likes to donate money.

$4000 is a blip on the transit budget for PART.  However, considering the fact the economy is trashed and we keep raising taxes and fees for services, should we not be better stewards of public funds? 

Public figures are just that, public figures.  People watch the decisions you make and follow your example.  Food for thought: Was this donation the best use of money from the transit budget?  You may want to consider that possibility if a similiar situation arises in the future.