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Gainesville council debate: Promote city or save?
Council members consider whether to chip in $8,000 for video promotion on CNBC
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Gainesville City Council members were faced today with the question of whether to invest in the future or save every penny to deal with current financial duress.

The council is considering an offer to pay $8,000 to create a video promoting the city’s industry.

The video, produced by Inside Business, would appear in a short segment in regional and national cable broadcasts on CNBC, City Manager Kip Padgett said.

The exposure could lure future industry, but the offer comes as city officials have cut expenses by 5 percent, leaving many vacant jobs unfilled, to make up for a projected $1.5 million shortfall in revenues for the fiscal year.

Yet some council members still see a benefit in spending for the future.

Padgett told council members at their work session this morning that the city needed to look ahead of the current financial crisis.

The video package would cost $24,000. If the city approves it, Hall County government and the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce would share the bill.

Padgett told council members the city’s share could be split between two budget years, with $4,000 coming from the current year.

"I guess we have to decide if that’s money well spent," Mayor Pro Tem Ruth Bruner said.

The city has turned down recent advertising opportunities to save money, Mayor Myrtle Figueras said.

Turning down all such ventures could hurt in the future, she said. "I think we’re really killing ourselves," Figueras said.