I have had quite a few questions about the conflicts of interest at the Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau (RCVB, now Experience Rochester) recently. As such I went back and reviewed their policy and asked some questions to see how it was being enforced? Here is the note that I sent to the Mayor and Council.
The three questions below were directed to Randy Staver and Steve Rymer who are on the RCVB Board of Directors and Executive Board.
RCVB is a private organization with no public oversight which receives millions of taxpayer dollars annually.
Please forward this to the Mayor and council.
I have fielded a number of questions from the press regarding the RCVB in recent weeks. Based on the nature of some of the questions I wanted to follow up on a discussion from 2017.
Because the RCVB is a private entity the city is not able to oversee compliance with policies. I have reviewed the attached document with a private attorney and feel a couple of questions need to be addressed.
1) Who is currently responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with this policy?
2) How are conflicts of interest pertaining to venues that compete with the Mayo Civic Center addressed?
3) In the past I raised concerns about conflicts of interest in the relationship between the Greater Rochester Arts & Cultural Trust and the RCVB. Who analyzed the relationship and made the determination that no conflict of interest was present?
Per the decision from the city attorney, my understanding is that all information related to these 3 items are public information and can be shared. I do not believe that conflicts of interest are being addressed proactively, so I am asking for the data that supports the current decision related to the ongoing free sublease of space to the Arts Trust.