Why wasn’t the Sioux Falls City Council in on the Pavilion/Orpheum contract negotiations?

First I want to say that I am NOT opposed to the Pavilion running the Orpheum, if you look at the financials of SMG running it over the past 5 years (DOC: Orpheum Theater Mgmt Transition Presentation – Council.pdf) you will see that the place has lost almost a cool half-million a year. Not sure why it is so expensive to run a place that is empty two-thirds of the year? I also find it funny that the operating losses come out now that the Pavilion is running the joint, go figure*.

But what has me puzzled is why wasn’t the City Council in on this? Shouldn’t they have either initiated this contract change or at least approached by the Pavilion instead of the Mayor’s office? They could have had open discussions about it at work sessions or in the public services committee meetings. What bothers me is that this contract negotiation was cooked up behind closed doors with the mayor with only the city council being aware of it. With SMG and the Pavilion running publicly funded facilities, this should have been an open negotiation. Instead it was pre-packaged behind the scenes to receive the council’s rubber stamp.

I’m still wondering when our council will start acting like a real legislative body?

*Makes you wonder how badly the Events Center is bleeding money if they allowed the Orpheum to take such a big hit for years.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 "Very Stable Genius" on 05.14.19 at 2:30 pm

The problem is that the Council is not a deliberating body. It is merely a rubber stamp. I don’t have a problem with the executive branch, or the Mayor’s office in this case, negotiating contracts. What I have a problem with is the Council not acting as an independent entity, which evaluates and questions things. As long as we have a rubber stamp Council, these issues are moot. What we need is a deliberating body that offers advice and possbily consent.


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