Rochester City Council Member Rips Civic Theater Board
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Missed paychecks, a broken promise and a public lashing of the Rochester Civic Theater’s Board of Directors were among the highlights at a Tuesday meeting of a City Council committee.
Two members of the board met with city councilmembers Michael Wojcik, Nick Campion and Shaun Palmer to review the serious financial problems facing RCT.
It was disclosed publicly for the first time there were missed paychecks to employees in November and December. It was also learned RCT’s finances took a deep dive last year after a donor offered to pay for enhanced performances but never came through. That meant RCT was responsible for the $250,000 paid to professional actors.
The board members informed the committee that RCT took out a $300,000 loan to help cover its expenses and did not disclose the information to city staff. The councilmembers were also told some board members made personal donations or loans to RCT totaling $100,000 to help offset serious cash flow problems.
The exact current financial condition of RCT is unknown but the board told the committee it plans to submit a report later this month.
Councilmember Palmer was bluntly critical of the board, accusing its members of “dropping the ball “ in its oversight of RCT’s finances. He is proposing the city withdraw its $200,000 contribution to RCT’s 2020 operations.
The committee plans to meet next week to finalize its report to the full City Council. One outcome could be changes to the city’s policies in funding for outside agencies