But Scottsdale’s arts scene has ebbed and flowed in the past. There’s a chance at another comeback, right?
She’s cutting with her opinion.”It doesn’t come back.”
Becky Bartkowski has penned a hard-hitting piece on the Scottsdale Cultural Council, but I don’t think it’s hard enough.
Becky mentions SCC’s $4 million annual contract with the city. However, it’s important for us taxpayers to recognize these additional facts:
- SCC is a PRIVATE BUSINESS and it’s a NO-BID contract, which is specifically prohibited by Scottsdale procurement policies, without detailed justification that SCC never had.
- It’s a 20-YEAR contract, whereas those same procurement policies specifically discourage multi-year contracts without detailed justification. Again, SCC never had such justification.
- SCC occupies taxpayer-owned facilities for free.
- Major maintenance on those facilities is almost always funded by…the taxpayers.
- SCC keeps all the proceeds from ticket sales; nothing is shared back with the city.
- SCC leverages its arrangement with the city and control of taxpayer facilities to garner millions of dollars in grants and additional private and corporate contributions, and provide millions of dollars in tax write-offs to the contributors.
- Worst of all, the SCC contract provides ZERO objective performance metrics, and even the most basic metric–attendance–is a closely-guarded secret to which the taxpayers who fund the organization are not privy.
- Neale Perl’s predecessor, the infamously inane Bill Banchs earned $250,000 per year and had a $500,000 “office of the president” line item for his expense account. I think it’s safe to assume that Perl’s salary is in the same ballpark.
The Scottsdale Cultural Council is at the intersection of What’s Wrong with Culture in Scottsdale, and What’s Wrong with Scottsdale City Government. It’s looking like this intersection is one of those ever-more-popular roundabouts, from which there seems no escape.
I’m not a culture guy so I don’t know how to fix that first avenue. However, I know EXACTLY how to fix the cross street: Don’t vote for the clowns that allow this to happen. Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane has a clear track record of 12 years of voting to approve the annual subsidy and other bumps, which on his watch have totaled more than $50 million.
Virginia Korte has been supporting them a lot longer than that. Ditto Suzanne Klapp. And new challenger Dan Schweiker is practically campaigning on his support for the Cultural Council.
Make sure you are paying attention when it comes time to vote in the August primary and the November General Election in Scottsdale.