Thursday, July 13, 2006

Richardson Hall rental fees may rise

Richardson Hall rental fees may rise
Del Mar official's proposition could affect ballet shows
By adriana garza Caller-TimesJuly 10, 2006
When Richardson Performance Hall re-opens its doors this fall, its glass entrance and newly upholstered seating may not be the only things different.
Another change may affect the busloads of school children who visit the Del Mar College East Campus every winter for Corpus Christi Concert Ballet performances.

A proposition from Joe Alaniz, the college's vice president for business and finance, would change the way the college manages the Richardson Performance Hall. Included in the proposition are increases to rental fees for the facility.
The proposed fee structure divides renters into three categories: nonprofit, for-profit and Del Mar College.
For-profit groups will pay $1,800 for use of the hall, while non-profit groups will pay $1,500. Del Mar College groups may use the facility for free. The recently constructed Performing Arts Center on the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus charges between $1,500 and $3,000 in rental fees.
While there had been a set fee structure in place for using Richardson, some nonprofit groups previously would bargain for cheaper rates, Alaniz said. Fees have ranged from $475 to $1,283.
The inconsistency with which the fees were applied often created hostile relationships between groups using the facility and the college.
"We'll have more consistent rules, and people will know what it costs to rent out Richardson instead of asking for deals," Alaniz said. The practice of maintaining flexible rental costs isn't a sound business practice, he said.
Officials said that in the past, community groups would attempt to secure a co-sponsorship with the college to rent Richardson Performance Hall at a discounted rate. The new fee structure, if approved by the college's Board of Regents, would provide flat rates for each category.
"We want to make sure we have a process where everyone is treated the same," Alaniz said.
Del Mar College and the Del Mar College Foundation have long been sponsors of the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet. The sponsorship allowed the organization to use the facility for free for matinee performances the organization would put on for young students from the Coastal Bend.
Evon Kelly, a member of the Concert Ballet's board of directors, said the change would place a strain on the organizations' relationship with the college - a relationship that has brought thousands of students to the college for ballet matinees.
"Either we will not be able to use Richardson or we will have to charge more," Kelly said, adding the Concert Ballet tries to keep costs as low as possible so it can promote culture through art.
Students from area school districts have been bused to the campus every winter for the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet's performance of "The Nutcracker" and in the spring for another performance.
During the early years of the performances, children attended the event for free. In recent years, students were charged $1 to $2 for admission into the performances to help the group recover some of the expenses incurred.
"That's the only time a lot of kids will ever come that close to exposure to the arts," she said.
If regents approve the recommendation to designate the performance hall as a revenue center, Kelly said the ballet's board of directors must consider its use of Richardson.
"I'd like to keep our relationship with Del Mar College," Kelly said. "It's been an important relationship for the community."
The Corpus Christi Concert Ballet isn't the only group the proposed change would affect. Mary Mayhew serves on the board of the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano and Strings, a competition that has been held at Richardson Performance Hall for nearly two decades.
She said the increase in rental fees will be an added burden on the organizers of the annual winter competition, but the facility holds a special place in the former Del Mar College professor's memories.
Mayhew began teaching cello at the college around the time the performance hall was being built in 1950.
"I played there and I do feel a certain closeness to it," Mayhew said.
She said despite the added pressure of finding a way to deal with the rental costs, there is no other place she'd rather have the competition.
"The acoustics there have been considered the best in town for many years," she said.
Contact Adriana Garza at 886-3618 or HYPERLINK

From :
Howard Karsh
Sent :
Wednesday, July 12, 2006 4:56 PM
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Subject :

I noticed on the Board minutes posted on the Del Mar College WEB site that "gift of public funds" has been brought up as an issue with respect to the auditorium. This is all old news. At a previous Board meeting Bill Martin asked that the College investigate how other colleges set fees etc. Well, I did all that when I was the Auditorium Manager. I researched other Colleges and Universities. I joined several professional organizations . I wrote everything down and explained my reasoning. You know what? One supervisor picked on my grammar. I don't believe the Regents ever read anything I submitted. I know my last supervisor never read anything I sent him and complained that I took up to much of his time.

Richardson Auditorium was and probably still is very unusual for Texas. I could not find any Community Colleges with a similar facility. No comparison could be made because most were much smaller and in many cases used directly with a Music or Drama program. They were mostly not available for outside use. Del Mar College has something others don't, a legitimate stage, that only four year colleges and universities have. Some of those Colleges even use their facilities to teach public assembly facility management and incorporate the facility directly into the instructional program. Unfortunately Del Mar administrators and regents lack the vision to see the possibilities in creating a PAF management program at Del Mar College.

Richardson Auditorium was wasted on the current Music and Drama programs because they are basically academic operations that are primarily involved in instruction and can't attract an audience of 1700 patrons. On average they fill a hundred or two hundred seats. The Drama department was scared of the size of the auditorium and the Music department did not understand marketing and promotion and just wasted all those seats. I do not deny that a competent management of the auditorium and cooperation with College Relations and the Music and Drama departments could fill a lot more seats. Unfortunately Music and Drama are faculty and faculty generally refuse to cooperate unless they are in charge. They lack the vision and competence it takes for successful large events. College Relations was always uncooperative in promoting the auditorium. Than of course in my time there were the safety issues that made every large performance a nightmare for me. My guess from what I'm hearing is that the College still does not get the message and safety will be forgotten once the auditorium is up and running again. After all, they fixed everything didn't they? So why don't they call it a "renovation"?

As for the "gift of public funds." With respect to the Ballet and Symphony I had worked out what I though was a reasonable legal solution. This was relatively simple. The Symphony and Ballet would pay for their public audience events at a non-profit base fee and a percentage of tickets sold to a set maximum fee. They could keep their profits if any. This is standard public assembly facility operation or proper business management. The student matinees would be educational partnerships with the College within the College mission statement. The College would participate in promoting these matinees as educational events thereby meeting DMC Policy. The Ballet would submit their expenses and incomes for the matinees. The expenses would be weighed against the rental fees that would have been charged and in the end expenses would exceed income and make payment null. The College could also determine the public relations and marketing value of these events in the College's favor and realize an economic value for the Colleges participation that could not possibly be achieved any other way. If the College were to setup a distribution of educational materials concerning the particular Ballet and or Symphony performance to be mailed out in advance of the performances to participating schools and offer instructional assistance to the teachers it would further reinforce the educational mission of the College. If other local arts groups wanted to make similar arrangements the guidelines could be put in writing and equally available to all. More work? Yeah so what? If Joe Alaniz is such a good business manager why couldn't he figure this or something else out?

Here is what is really at work here. Joe Alaniz has a reputation at the College of being a very poor manager. I saw that first hand. He puts revenge against employees and the community at all levels as his most important priority. Everyone who has been there for any amount of time knows that if Joe Alaniz perceives that you have crossed him even if naively you become his target. I have little doubt that Joe Alaniz thinks the local arts groups crossed him. He is and always was on a power trip. That is why he could not delegate authority. He abused the 'gift of public funds" on a regular basis. In some cases by not collecting the rents. He failed to put into place any checks on the distribution of exchanges of free tickets. The more I tried to get accountability, the more he attacked and discredited me with other administrators and the regents. If every year arts groups had to come to Joe to beg for use of the auditorium it made him a big man. Once the Board took that burden off the Ballet and Symphony, Joe lost his power over them. By setting up these new rates he forces them to come back begging to him in the future. By not putting college co-sponsorship availability in writing he is able to keep his vendetta against other local arts groups going as well, particularly Ballet National. By keeping the auditorium free to DMC staff and employees he leaves a back door open to faculty and staff to give the auditorium away to buddies and good old boys in the name of scholarships, etc. Al they have to do is incorporate outsiders into their programs. Once the Regents are out of it no one is looking over Joe's shoulder and the auditorium manager who is usually the only other person who sees what goes on in the auditorium will keep his mouth shut. When I saw the abusing going on I spoke up. That's one of the many reasons I am no longer the manager.

The new auditorium manager on the other hand has no business background, and no back bone. He has little business aptitude and doesn't want to have to deal with the financial aspect of collecting fees etc. My guess is the College won't hire a proper staff to do the work. Therefore collecting a base upfront rent and not hassling with ticket percentages saves the current manager a lot of work and headaches. The College thinks they will save more money in employee salaries. In the end they will loose a great deal of money in the percentages.

The best thing that Del Mar College could do for the auditorium is to hire an outside management team. Let the professionals come in and determine fees, usage contracts and policy. Remove Joe Alaniz from any direct management. Just like they did with the Bookstore.

No comments:

The Secretary of State cleared her to run.

I think these guys are going to learn a lesson or two....

from the attorney general down. The Secretary of State cleared Ms Garcia to run. If you read the AG opinion you will know what a crook this guy is when it comes to the little people. Carlos Valdez, I cant see how he would obtain Jurisdiction given there is no criminal act. This matter should be processed through existing administrative law.

A Voter Registration in Kleberg While Residing in Nueces?

The question is, which home was her domicile. I have been to her Apartment here in Corpus Christi, it sure looks like it is her primary residence.

I cannot imagine Carlos Valdez even having anything to do with this case, given his history with Mike Westergren and I am told with Joe Alaniz as well.

If Carlos Valdez prosecutes this lady, he is a fool.

I stand behind her.