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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

CitiFest, Inc. of Toledo: In a Pile of Debt

Located in Toledo, Ohio is a nonprofit corporation that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, from taxpayer subsidies, community foundation grants, and from private industry.

The name of this nonprofit entity is CitiFest, Inc.

According to the Mission and History web page on the CitiFest website:

"CitiFest was formed in 1987. CitiFest is a private, non-profit 501(c) 3 organization and holds a charter with the City of Toledo to provide entertainment in the downtown Toledo area. Our mission is to plan, produce and promote a calendar of special events for the community. Until 1991, the City of Toledo funded CitiFest in large part. Today public and private sector sponsorship along with on-site revenues from events generate funding for CitiFest in parts.
CitiFest has produced and facilitated special events in downtown Toledo for over 19 years. We have always had the full support of the Mayor, City Council, County Commissioners numerous businesses and several non-profit organizations. Often times, events are coordinated with the Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo Sports Arena and Universities. These relationships remain intact today."

Take a look at the entire CitiFest, Inc. website here.

But it appears that all is not well with Citifest, Inc. Not all is well in its finances and not all is well in its relationships with the City of Toledo, including the mayor and some of city council.

Read this article and then this other article from The Blade.

I realize that nonprofit organizations owe much of their existences to financial and in-kind donations and time contributions of volunteers. But, since when does nonprofit organization equate with not paying your debts? And, since when has nonprofit organization meant that it's perfectly permissible, allowable, and acceptable to stiff your employees and not pay them for employee services rendered?

Is this any way to run a business, even a nonprofit? How do the persons responsible for the management of CitiFest, Inc. keep their positions of responsibility? What would be the reactions of those same persons if they were not paid wages and debts owed them?


Judy said...

Shame on Chairman Brian Epstein and the rest of the board members. This town is Citi-infested with duplicate organizations. No matter what the reason for this red ink, workers MUST get paid.

Roland Hansen said...

Now, we learn that CitiFest Inc. has overdrawn checks for which overdraft fees have exceeded $15,000.00.
Read that story here.

Roland Hansen said...

"Warning. Warning, Will Robinson" So, the robot called out on "Lost in Space."
An article by Jessica Luther published in the April 25th 2007 issue of the Toledo City Paper in regards to the Erie Street Market and CitiFest provided some information that should have raised eyebrows long before the latest CitiFest Financial Fiasco.
Early warning signs were there. Or, were they?
Read the article here.
Pay careful attention to the details about what CitiFest said then, and compare that to what CitiFest has said in the past week as reported in the links provided earlier.

Roland Hansen said...

Another "country" heard from.
Read the Toledo Free Press article CitiFest future in doubt by Justin R. Kalmes, Metro Editor.