Cultural Council Good News, Bad News

AZCentral today delivered the annual good news/bad news report for the Scottsdale Cultural Council. As Yogi Berra said, it’s like déjà vu all over again.

Every year we get the same press release: The Cultural Council is doing much better than last year (“The Scottsdale Cultural Council has more than doubled its fundraising in the first six months of the fiscal year compared with last year”), but still short of budgeted fundraising goals (“Cultural Council $300K under fundraising goal”).

The article notes,

This shortfall caused some board members to call for a mid-fiscal year review to assess the differences between budgeted contributed revenue goals and actual contributed revenue.

Seriously? What were the results of the review? Why weren’t they reported?

Also as in years past, the Fundraiser-in-Chief, CEO Bill Banchs has completely escaped responsibility for either a) ridiculous goal setting, b) poor execution, or c) both. Banchs isn’t even mentioned in the article!

This is the guy who: Gets paid $250,000 per year, has a $500,000 line item for his “Office of the President,” and was hired primarily because of his (as it turns out self-professed) fundraising ability.

Why board member Don Cogman is acting as spokesman in Banchs’s stead is as much a mystery as why he’s even on the board. He appears to have no serious resume in fundraising or in cultural arts. Of course, the same could be said of most of the Chamber-infiltrated board who seem to care not a penny’s worth about fiscal responsibility, the primary responsibility of any board.

The only bigger travesty is that former board chair and current Scottsdale City Council member Linda Milhaven (who hired Banchs) will gleefully lead her fellow council members and Mayor Lane in renewing the Cultural Council’s annual $4 million taxpayer-funded subsidy in June. So much for our “conservative Republican” city council.

And lest we forget, Milhaven last week called for a sales tax bump to help fund unspecified future Cultural Council activities. SCC already has their hand out for a $10 million piece of the $250 million bond package that Lane and Milhaven want to present to the voters this year.

You’d think these guys would be happy with getting free rent in the taxpayer-owned facilities they occupy, but no.

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  1. So, us lucky taxpayers are losing at least $5M per annum on the SCC and the TPC.
    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to drop 5,000, $1,000 cashiers checks from a helicopter,
    conditional upon the recipient being able to prove that she has spent 7 nights at one of our fine hotels?
    The marketing line would be something like, spend 7 nights in Scottsdale, become eligible to catch $1,000 falling from the sky in our city’s annual cash drop….

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