By Eric Beasley
So there I was, enjoying the wonderfully Arctic weekend in Maryland when I am told a most interesting rumor. This rumor was so shocking to me that I actually had to VagueBook about it to see if I could find a corroborating source.
Fortunately for you, I was able to corroborate the story.
As some of you know, the private sector and market forces in Brunswick have decided that they can conduct a community event better than the local government, in the form of Beth Johnson. Beth is a former Councilwoman and owner of A Better Choice Bakery. Ms. Johnson has taken it upon herself to organize a nationally-recognized BBQ tournament in downtown Brunswick to increase traffic and help the local economy. Oh yeah, and all proceeds will go to the Brunswick Heritage Museum, which has had it’s share of financial issues over the last few years.
Local government has been resistant to the event. Members of Council have expressed concern about closing downtown, which is already empty on the weekends, and the liability involved with a private organization hosting the event. Councilman Tom Smith, both during the Council meeting and in private, has stated that he does not understand why the Economic Development Commission cannot host such an event with the $200,000 annual budget. Other Councilmembers have expressed much less legitimate concerns, like March being too cold for people to stand over a BBQ all day long. I confirmed that wood does in fact burn at approximately 451 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on atmospheric conditions.
This resistance to the event has reached an apex, leading us to #BBQGate and #Porkghazi. Sources have informed me that Hough-Funded Angel White is trying to sabotage the entire event. These sources stated that White is telling event sponsors that Ms. Johnson has not filed for any permits or approvals from the City of Brunswick, implying that the entire event is being organized illegally. I presently have a MPIA request in to Brunswick to identify if any more Councilmembers are trying to undermine the event as well. Of course, I will let you know if any other elected representatives are operating in similar manners.
Who is the event “sponsor,” you might ask? Since it was my bright idea, I’ll go ahead and tell you. I had a brief moment of inspiration where two problems came together to solve themselves:
- The BBQ Throwdown needs volunteers to help with security.
- The Tattoo-Beard Farrar 2018 Campaign Brigade is already in campaign mode.
So why not put the two ideas together? Danny Farrar’s campaign is made up of people that have pulled security in much more austere (read: Iraq and Afghanistan) environments than Brunswick. The event needs the volunteers.
It has also been interesting to see yet another Hough-funded Brunswick Councilmember engage in some questionable political decisions. Just a few month ago, Councilmember Vaughn Ripley was seen campaigning for John Delaney. Now another one of the Hough-Chosen is rallying against private enterprise conducting a successful street festival to increase their economic output.
As I said on Thor At Four when talking about the December meeting of the Brunswick City Council. Brunswick gets the Council it deserves.