Holy taxes! Recently, most residents received a letter from Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of the Brookfield Zoo. In this letter, he stated that an amusement tax on zoo admissions would somewhat jeopardize the zoo’s contributions to the village of Brookfield.
I feel like we are being somewhat bamboozled by this and the literature sent out, stating how the zoo has contributed amply to our housing values, provided considerable employment for our residents and revenue to our businesses.
In fact, about 10 years ago when we asked the zoo to pay $10,000 for painting the new water tower, complete with dolphins, we got a big no. What about the building on Fairview used for the storage of the zoo’s stuffed animals, trinkets, etc.? Do we receive any compensation?
In emergencies they do use our police force, paramedics and jail, if needed. What about the road leading to the zoo for deliveries? Do they not use Brookfield’s streets?
Compared to the number of residents who are able to work, the zoo hires a small number from Brookfield, and there are probably more volunteers who work for nothing. The zoo has 2 million visitors a year. These people come from all over the United States and foreign countries, and they spend a lot of money. I just can’t see why good-neighbor financial support from the zoo should jeopardize Brookfield.
I realize Mr. Strahl is only doing his job in protecting the zoo that he has a stake in. It’s necessary to justify his big salary, pension and bonuses that fat cats have become accustomed to.
I hope that President Michael Garvey is truly serious about adding revenue to Brookfield and will bring much-needed negotiation skills to the table. Please, Mr. Garvey, rub your talisman and bring us some much-needed luck and revenue.
In this difficult economy, what happens if nothing is accomplished? More cuts in police enforcement and our security, cuts in public works and the overall attractiveness of our town. A quaint, much-loved village by its residents will become a heavy-hearted place to live.