Civic Theatre Request

Request from Rochester Civic Theatre:

This is public information so I am fine sharing.

Mayor and Council,

Rather late on Thursday, with further information received on Friday,   I received information relating to a request for 2017 contingency funding in the amount of $80,000 from the Rochester Civic Theatre (See attached letter for the request) .  Obviously, at that point in time, the Council agenda for the 10/16/17meeting had already been sent out to the Mayor and Council and other individuals and organizations that receive the Council agenda.  I will note that in the past it was not uncommon to have some walk on items that were received by the Council on the Monday meeting day and which were acted upon on that meeting date.  In fact this happened quite often.  This office has done our best to reduce that practice and provide all the Council agenda information to the Council on Thursday or Friday at the latest. In this case, the request for additional funding for 2017 from the contingency account in the amount of $80,000 is something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible in order to provide for the efficient operations of the Rochester Civic Theatre organization.  I would also note that is my belief that is not practical to say that absolutely no items will ever be considered as walk on items, as in some cases items do need to be addressed timely and should be considered as walk on items if need be.

With regards to this specific request, there is a very thorough explanation of the need for the funding and the benefits that the Rochester Civic Theater organization has annually provided to the community since 1952, 65 years.  The RCT has been a non-profit partner that has been partially funded for its building space and other costs by the City of Rochester for many decades and has provided excellent service and benefits to the community throughout that very long time. In recognition of this long service and the potential for future benefits to the community I would strongly recommend that the City Council approve providing the $80,0000 for their additional expenses in 2017 from the 2017 contingency account.  I do recognize that it has been a difficult year for the RCT and their Board of Directors, supporters and staff and others in the community who believe in the benefits that community theater can provide . However,  I would also note that in my experience over the last several decades this difficult year is the lone exception and has not been the rule for RCT.  I believe that the Board and the staff are engaged in improving their operations and their planning to provide long term community benefits and enrichment in a financially sustainable manner.

The Mayor and Council can consider this matter if you so wish under Other Business at the end of the 10/16/17 City Council meeting.  If you do not believe that you have sufficient information you could table this matter until either the October 23 meeting (the full Council will not be in attendance) or until October 30 th  at 3:30 PM in Room 104.  I do not believe that there is substantial additional information to provide on this matter so I would suggest consideration under the Other Business Section on the 10/16/17 City Council meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to give me a call.

Have a great and safe weekend!

Gary

 

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