2010 Goals Review: Provide RCVB Oversite (13 of 14)

Goal: Address Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau

Grade: B

Comments: To quote Tom Petty, “You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”

I did not to back down… In tackling this beast, I learned about Good Old Boys and sacred cows. I did what few had done before and actually questioned if our citizens were getting our money’s worth, if the funding process was transparent, and if they were honoring their legal commitments. The answers to all three were, “No.”

The practice was so bad that city administration was ignoring the contract we had in place. Further complicating this was the discovery that the Bureau had lied to the state legislature and the city council. AND there was a paper trail to prove it.

In questioning these practices, I was attacked by a number of downtown special interests that didn’t want the city council looking after the tax payer’s dollar as carefully as I was. Rather than address their shortcomings the Bureau instead decided to propose a new 10 year contract that removed all oversight. I am ashamed to say that the council did give away all of their budgetary oversight, but only for a period of 3 years.  I did all that I could to alert the public as to what was happening but in the end the Bureau was able to get rid of that pesky oversight.

Dennis Hanson summed it up when he said to the Post-Bulletin; Wojcik is new and he doesn’t understand how the system works.  I was new but I fully understood how the system has worked.  I made a choice that I would not be a part of that system. I like Dennis, but on this issue he was dead wrong.

When questioned about what actions the Bureau board took to address the lies to the legislature and council, Dennis stated, “I told him not to do it again.” A for research, A for effort, D for results. But hey, it was a wild ride…

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