Monday, July 10, 2006

Very Professional Critique Mr. Karsh

From :
Howard Karsh

Sent :
Monday, July 10, 2006 6:35 PM
To :

CC :


Subject : Richardson

To: Adriana Garza Caller-Times;

I do not believe we have ever met. I was the Richardson Auditorium Manager for twelve years. I was placed on administrative leave and was forced into retirement because I was a proponent of a business centered, auxiliary enterprise based auditorium. I did not come up with this idea myself. Mr. Alaniz, VP of Business and Finance told the Southern Association of Colleges in our 2000 accreditation that the auditorium was an "auxiliary enterprise", "a profit center."

I just questioned that because in my years of working at the auditorium I never once saw Mr. Alaniz try to run the auditorium as a business or profit center. From time to time people would come to the auditorium to book events and I would quote them the auditorium rates. They would tell me that they had already made a deal with Mr. Alaniz and the rates did not apply to them. I tried to explain to Mr. Alaniz, administrators and finally the Board of Regents that making those deals without consulting with the auditorium manager was undermining my ability to manage the auditorium. Further, I was concerned that outsiders who did not know Mr. Alaniz were being discriminated against. I was forced to tell anyone who asked that although I could only quote the rate schedule they could appeal to Mr. Alaniz for a discount. All Mr. Alaniz ever had to do to stop this cycle was to tell all those who asked for a discount that the rate schedule applied to all and to work with the auditorium manager to schedule and book their event. Mr. Alaniz refused to delegate authority to the auditorium manager and that refusal was not " a sound business practice."

I find it amusing that Mr. Alaniz claims that his new rate schedule is "sound business practice." It is not. Public Assembly Facilities generally base their rates on overhead, seating capacity and competitive facilities. The idea is to sell as many seats as you can to earn the most money. That should benefit both the College and the client. Mr. Alaniz is sorely mistaken if he believes charging a flat fee is fair. Some groups that cannot hope to fill more than a few hundred seats would have to increase their ticket prices to pay the fee. Groups that can fill a thousand seats could decrease ticket prices or make larger profits at the same ticket price. An outside promoter who can fill all the seats may place more wear and tear on the facility than an outside promoter who fills less seats. Some promoters who charge more per ticket walk away with huge profits while the College makes the same fee no matter the ticket price. It takes more College employees to cover a larger event. That cost the College more money. If you refuse to take that into consideration you are not making a commitment to safety and endangering the facility and the patrons. So much for the Colleges so called concern for safety. This is not "sound businesses practice." A per seat ticket price on top of a low base fee makes the College a partner in the event. If the College cooperates and makes it a successful event the College earns more money. Free use to the Del Mar College community is also a poor business practice. The print shop at the College does not give away their services. There is a charge. Faculty cannot just take food from the cafeteria without paying. The book store does not give away books. The Music department at Del Mar College uses the auditorium more than any other department. Some departments do not use the auditorium at all. Why not just budget the Music department for the events they intend to do in the auditorium? If the department chose not to do an event than the money is there for other purposes. After all there are expenses associated with the booking and operation of the auditorium. Some Universities and Colleges also limit College use to weekdays and exclude weekends. As profit making promoters are more interested in weekends and promoters can make more money for the College.

It was my intention to take these so called "profits" and put them back into the auditorium so that the facility could book events that were not being brought to the College. We were getting almost no family shows since the Creative Art Center shut down years ago. I was also hoping to bring more current music, country and tejano music that the students wanted to hear at prices they could afford. After all classical ballet and symphony music isn't all the culture there is. Those profits could have also been used to help offset the costs to ballet, symphony and community groups so that they could better afford to bring high culture to the children of Corpus Christi. Mr. Alaniz only wants to use these "profits" to benefit scholarships. That is unfortunate and shortsighted as "man does not live by bread alone." The College has not installed a marquee to advertise events. This is probably the worst business decision the College has made with respect to the "upgrades" to the auditorium. (Please note that they do not call this a renovation.) A marquee is your prime means of advertising and creating excitement about events. The lack of a marquee shows again how little the College understands about marketing and operating a public assembly facility in "a proper business manner."

I hired the current auditorium manager to assist me because he claimed to have a technical background. He had no management credentials and no business credentials. I had hoped he would oversee the technical aspects of the facility so that I could work on the business aspects in which I was experienced. Unfortunately he was creating problems with the auditorium clients where problems did not exist. We had already spent tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade the sound system before the "upgrade". There was no need to replace that sound system. Either they are now taking credit for work we had already done or they needlessly replaced a working sound system that most performers who came to the auditorium were impressed with. How can you operate the auditorium as a sound business practice when the manager has no business background and Mr. Alaniz, VP of Business and Finance has no understanding of how to operate a Public Assembly Facility?

P.S. If you could try talking to Icess Fernandez. She was there when I was condemned for advocated a business centered auditorium. I am assuming she is no longer with the Caller-Times. Could you tell me how to contact her? I would like to keep in touch.

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.