NIMBY kills opportunities

A rather unscientific show of hands at a recent Johnstown Town Board meeting seems to have put the kibosh on a three-day music festival proposed for a property on Route 67.

The festival would have featured rock, funk and bluegrass music played for 10 to 14 hours a day from Aug. 19 to 21. Event promoters Shawn Stock and Jesse McEachern, of Bomsiboys Entertainment, have estimated the event would draw between 300 and 500 people.

But when Stock and McEachern gave a presentation to the Johnstown Town Board about the event, board member James Westover asked the members of the public in attendance at the meeting to raise their hands if they opposed the festival, and approximately 18 out of 20 raised their hands. Several members of the public who oppose the event said they are concerned the festival would lead to drug use, trespassing, vandalism and burglaries.

Although Bomsiboys Entertainment did not need Town Board approval to hold the festival, Stock and McEachern told the board they had no interest in having the festival in a location that doesn’t appear to want it.

The Not In My Backyard philosophy of the town residents attending the public presentation may have robbed the area of valuable tourism. This event would have been good for the economy and would have given young people something to do locally, instead of leaving the area to spend their money on music festivals elsewhere.

Johnstown Supervisor Jack Wilson’s decision to hold a public hearing on the festival, particularly when the Town Board had no say in whether it could go on, seems to have only served as a method for the NIMBY naysayers to kill the festival and cost the town and the region tourism dollars.

This was a bad choice. There is no way to know how the rest of the residents of the town or the county felt about this festival, and a public hearing of this nature was sure to attract all of the residents who live close to where the festival was going to be held.

Next time, if there is one, we would urge the Town Board to stay out of the affairs of the private sector when the town has no regulatory role in the first place.

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