Disbanding Balboa Park centennial committee releases financial documents

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The disbanding organization that sought to put on a
yearlong extravaganza to celebrate next year's 100th birthday of Balboa Park
released financial documents Monday showing it received more than $3 million in
revenue and spent $2.6 million.

Balboa Park Centennial Inc. posted the documents on its website,
www.balboapark.org, in response to numerous requests for information on how
public funds were dispersed. The organization went through several CEOs and
event producers before turning the reins of the celebration back to the city
last week.

BPCI retained consultant Gerry Braun to wind down its activities and
compile reports.

“BPCI asked its accountants to prepare this document so San Diegans
have accurate and current information regarding BPCI's financial activities and
expenses,” Braun said. “This is the beginning of a comprehensive disclosure

Last week, co-chairs Ben and Nikki Clay said “there is not adequate
private funding needed” to have “the yearlong celebration of global
significance that had been envisioned.”

According to news reports, BPCI missed key deadlines, brushed off
community groups that wanted to be involved and exaggerated in funding
applications about having “key partnerships” that didn't exist.

According to the financial documents, the organization received $1.26
million from the city of San Diego's Major Events Revolving Fund; nearly
$910,000 from the Tourism Marketing District — a quasi-independent corporation
that distributes funds to promote San Diego as a tourist destination; $375,000
from the city's Arts & Culture Commission; and $40,000 from the county of San

In addition, nearly $488,000 was received from nine private donors —
individuals and organizations — that were not named.

The largest chunks of money were spent to pay programming producers and
consultants, and BPCI leaders. Among them, according to the report:

— more than $467,000 to Autonomy Inc.;

— nearly $464,000 to Loma Media Partners,which handled marketing efforts;

— more than $131,500 to J&S Silverman Consulting;

— nearly $182,000 to Mike McDowell;

— more than $135,700 to Julie Dubick; and

— more than $123,500 to Mark Germyn.

The documents were prepared by the accounting firm AKT LLP.

Braun said BPCI is also preparing documents that will show agendas,
attachments and minutes of executive and committee meetings; programming and
planning documents; ownership and content for BPCI's social media sites,
trademarks and logo; sponsorship funding agreements and presentation materials;
TMD applications and reports; marketing and outreach documents; other items in
possession of BPCI that have been requested by the city of San Diego's Office
of Special Events.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer said last week that he plans to work with City
Council President Todd Gloria, whose district includes Balboa Park, “to move
forward with a more practical and realistic celebration that recognizes the
character and history of Balboa Park.”

The revised celebration “would focus on the existing cultural
institutions within the park,” Faulconer said.

Faulconer and Gloria said they expect to provide more details on the new
celebration plans in the coming weeks.

Categories: KUSI