Because you're new in town, I suppose you can't be expected to realize that San Diego's patronage of the arts came long before Roger Hedgecock was ever elected to office. Most assuredly, Mayor Hedgecock used his support for taxpayer funding of the arts to draw attention away from his own problems and to enable him to appear as an all-around "good guy."
However, Hilliard Harper's commentary (Oct. 20) does a great disservice to many of San Diego's political and community leaders who have given their personal time and funds to support the arts. The distinction to be considered is that, while Roger Hedgecock supported using other people's money to fund the arts, many nameless politicians contributed their own funds to assist in the rebuilding of the Old Globe, the support of the San Diego Symphony, the financing of San Diego's Opera, COMBO and countless other worthy organizations.
San Diego has more than one arts patron on the City Council, and we have had more than one on several past City Councils. Whatever ego-boosting the arts received from Mayor Hedgecock's visits and political grandstanding will be more than overshadowed by the loss of national prestige San Diego has been forced to suffer under his "leadership."
MRS. CHARLES STOWE