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JULY 22 - JULY 30, 2014

Megadeth Brings Zombie Like Fans to Artpark Winkley Praised for Fight for Artpark’s Taxpayer Subsidized Concert

July 22, 2014

No, this isn’t a Nazi rally, This is the crowd at a Megadeth concert. Ah the bizarre people of Lewiston. Their town board uses town money to attract such as these fans, by subsidizing the low ticket prices at Artpark.

Lewiston, NY: The musical act known as Megadeth performed a taxpayer subsidized concert at Artpark State Park last Tuesday. The crowd was estimated by Lewiston police to be 5,700 about half the expected audience. Twelve thousand tickets had been available for sale.

What the audience lacked in size, it made up in eccentricity. The crowd was dressed mostly in black. If a person unfamiliar with Megadeth chanced upon the audience they would have seen thousands pumping their fists in unison and bobbing their heads back and forth as if under a hypnotic spell. 

Megadeth's music was loud enough to regale thousands of neighbors outside the park, whether they liked it or not. This is ironically appropriate since these quaint, generous folks of Lewiston paid for the concert through subsidies the town and village gives to Artpark & Company annually.

These quaint and at times adorable people of Lewiston consistently elect a town board that chooses to subsidize Artpark & Co. to the tune of more than $150,000 per year, rather than use the money to reduce their $500,000 per year town deficit or put money into an aging senior citizens center. About 30 percent of the town's deficit is caused  by Artpark.

While some in Lewiston complain about noise, rude fans, traffic, cars parking on lawns, debris, drunken arrests, alarm and annoyance caused by fans attracted by low ticket prices - in effect subsidized tickets -  the Republican town board, led by Councilman Ron Winkley, is enamored with having townsfolk spring for Artpark Concerts. 

The pleasing prospect of big name stars appearing at taxpayer subsidized concerts has seen Winkley sacrifice his time and to personally attend concerts in the VIP section during warm, busy, star studded concert nights.

Artpark & Company are enamored with Winkley also. At their May 20th meeting in Buffalo, the mainly Erie County group of board members thanked Winkley profusely.

At the prestigious Buffalo Club, amid drinks, hors d'oeuvre and an elegant table, Artpark and Company Chairman John Camp praised the company's best friend for fighting awful Town Supervisor Dennis Brochey, the sole Democrat on the town board, who was trying to get Artpark to pay for its own concerts. 

"Ron deserves the credit for Artpark winning this debate as he was very strong and supportive," Camp said. "Three (Republican) council members voted in favor of Artpark and the supervisor (Brochey) voted against. Ron Winkley recused himself due to the conflict of interest. (Winkley used to be on the Artpark board but stepped down to better fight for Artpark's interests without the accusation Brochey proffered that Winkley had a conflict.)

Despite Winkley’s victory for Artpark & Company, Camp sounded a warning.: "The Town decision (to subsidize Artpark & Company) was only for this year and we may have to renegotiate for next year. We should see if we could get a five year contract so that we will not have to argue this every year."

Winkley told the Reporter he plans to retire when his term ends in Dec.  2015.  

What will happen to the concert promoters of Artpark & Company who claim they need public money in order to stage concerts such as Megadeth once their defender retires? 

Can Winkley persuade the Republican town board to lock the town into a five year contract before he retires? 

Time will tell.





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