Mateel ED: Board and Staff Response

To the Community of Reggae On The River–
from the Board and Staff of the Mateel Community Center

We’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate our invitation to all ROTR coordinators to join us for our Reggae 2007 coordinators meeting with our new producer on Wednesday, January 17, at 5:30. This includes all who are interested in joining the Mateel and the new ROTR producer, Boots Hughston, in moving forward in a positive fashion to make Reggae on the River® ‘07 better than ever. We are aware that a lot of carefully crafted bits and pieces of communication have been released by persons who say they’re acting on their own, but seemingly act as agents of People Productions. We feel these bits and pieces are being released to draw the center’s attention away from the job at hand and into what can only be a very negative battle with a bad outcome for everyone. We have begun the planning for this year’s event, and there is much room for valuable input from all ROTR coordinators, staff and volunteers, and we need your help.
We would also like to restate what many people in the community have heard– that People Productions has publicly and privately quit several times. “…With a sad and heavy heart I am hereby proposing a MUTUAL agreement to terminate PP’s and MCC’s business relationship with respect to the production of ROTR.” This statement is the opening line from an October 30, 2006 letter from Carol Bruno to the board. This date is before the annual meeting and prior to entering mediation. Another public statement openly made at the Mateel annual meeting is available on YouTube
We do not wish to provoke any more speculation about any one. The letter of termination was hand delivered to Katy Stern at the People Production office, personally by board member Bob Stern, before the close of business on Thursday, December 28, 2006. The board reviewed sixteen different options of leasing, licensing, purchasing ideas before arriving at the specific set of best case scenarios and contingency plans for the Mateel Community Center to act upon to remedy the crisis. We have painstakingly done our jobs in good faith and the Mateel Community Center’s best interest.
Unanimously, we have always had the desire to resolve this situation as positively as possible with due respect to all those involved who have worked so hard and diligently over the years to provide the funds to the community center. It has been no small feat and all the people who have made it happen deserve to be thanked a thousand times over and praised for their remarkable service.
At the same time, even though we entered mediation to find a common best resolution for the difficult issues underlying the crisis, we did not emerge from that mediation with any basis for meeting the real needs of the Mateel Community Center. We feel we have clearly communicated these needs over the course of the last two contract years for Reggae On The River® on many occasions. Allegations that the Mateel entered into mediation in bad faith are completely baseless. The fact that we formed contingency plans looking for solutions without People Productions after they repudiated their contract shows only that the Board of the Mateel acted prudently and responsibly to fill the void created by People Production’s actions. The Community Center, its members, Reggae concert-goers and staff, and the many business and non-profit groups which enjoy the benefits of ROTR deserve nothing less. Especially in light of numerous statements made by Carol and her staff at our annual meeting that time was extremely short and the pressure high to move forward, the Board believes it was imperative for us to ensure that ROTR 2007 would happen.
This folks, is the giant brass ring we are going to reach. We understand that people are concerned, that people are being given partial information and then perhaps are being asked to establish loyalty or faith based on that information, and that people are emotionally wrought over this change. Once again, we urge everyone willing to go forward in a positive and productive manner to help us accomplish the goal of making this event happen in 07. Please let’s begin the healing by joining in, or continuing on, in the process of coming together as a community to make this event, birthed in the name of the Mateel Community Center, built on community funds, and thriving on a community working in the name of the Mateel Community Center, the best Reggae On The River® ever.

Posted by Taunya Stapp, Executive Director Mateel Community Center


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