Monday, April 22, 2024

On Negotiations with the CBCA

After Vice Mayor Trupiano cancelled her membership to the CBCA last week based on a pattern of behavior by certain CBCA members, there was renewed discussion regarding the negotiations between the City and the CBCA regarding a new Master Use Agreement (MUA).  After discussion with some members, it appears as though the leadership of the CBCA never shared the status or progress of negotiations, and instead characterized the conclusion of our discussions as the City rejecting their offers.  As this is not a fair characterization of events, in the interest of transparency I thought it useful to share the timeline of events:

3.7.23 – MUA between City and CBCA terminated effective 7.1.23.  Prior agreement can be found here:

City establishes Ad hoc Committee to renegotiate MUA.  My summary here:

3.15.23 – First meeting held with CBCA and Ad Hoc Committee.  My summary of the meeting here:

May-23  CBCA cancels BBQ and Brew festival, citing uncertainty over fees, even though the fee waiver was still effective at the time.  I shared my thoughts here:

July-23 – In a phone call with the President of the CBCA, I propose a revenue sharing agreement in exchange for a waiver of fees and part of a new MUA.   I wrote about it here:

8.30.23  – In a phone call with the President of the CBCA, the revenue sharing proposal is rejected with no counter proposal offered.  I was told I would hear back about alternatives after the Sept 7 CBCA Board meeting.

9.27.23 – I host a town hall meeting at Hoyer Hall and take any and all questions.  Some are regarding negotiations with CBCA.  I indicate that I have been trying for months to meet with CBCA leadership and after proposing several dates I am told it may be “a while” due to medical reasons.  I write about the event here:

10.11.23 – CBCA sends invitation to meet.  After aligning schedules, we set meeting for 10.20.23.

10.20.23 CBCA leadership and the Ad Hoc Committee meets.  All information and correspondence regarding these meetings and associated negotiations can be found here:

In summary, in exchange for a waiver of Special Event fees, CBCA proposed a 5% revenue share, with an annual cap of $25,000.  CBCA was also interested in designated specific capital projects that the revenue share would be attributable to and that the organization could get recognition for.  The proposal suggested starting at a date certain in the future, with some contributions made to the City in the interim.

In response, the Ad Hoc Committee made a counter proposal actually reducing the % of revenue share to 4%, and also argued against the cap.  The current discounted Special Events Fee would be approximately $7K/day.  The Committee stated that at a 4% revenue share, CBCA events would need to generate $700K in gross revenue to yield a $28K City share.  $700K gross revenue is greater than what past events have generated, so under the proposed revenue share the CBCA would pay less than the current fee schedule calls for.  In addition, each event has historically required several days of preparation both before hand for setup, and afterwards for takedown.  As such, it is almost certain that the Special Event Fees for Art & Wine and Oktoberfest combined under the new Master Fee Schedule will exceed $28,000.

For the city, a major purpose of the proposed revenue sharing agreement was precisely to align the interests of the CBCA and the City.  In practice this would mean the City would share in the favorable or unfavorable results of events.  Larger events that generate greater revenue for the CBCA would yield greater revenue for the City.  Smaller events that didn't generate significant revenue would pay much lower fees, a .  A cap is contrary to this purpose - especially a cap set at ostensibly a similar amount that would be paid without a revenue sharing agreement.

The Ad Hoc Committee invited further discussion but none was offered by CBCA leadership and the City did not hear back after that.

1.12.24 – President of the CBCA sends communication to its members, not to the City or its Ad Hoc Committee, that the prior proposal was their last, best, and final offer and would not seek further negotiations.

I continue to hold out hope that the City and the CBCA can come to terms that is mutually beneficial for each, and especially the residents of Clayton.