EL CAJON, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The El Cajon city council voted last week to terminate the contract with the manager of the East County Performing Arts Center, but will be temporarily hiring back some of the organization’s employees.
The Arts Center Foundation’s six full-time employees will receive layoff notices that take effect tomorrow at 11:59 p.m., but three will be hired back at midnight, City Manager Kathi Henry told the San Diego Union-Tribune. An additional 15 to 20 hourly employees will also be rehired in the deal.
This plan ensures that shows will be able to go on as scheduled, contracts will be honored through the remainder of the season, and new contracts for theater rentals can be signed. The city plans to renegotiate with the employees before June 30, when the current agreement expires, according to Henry.
The City Council voted unanimously to end the city’s contract with the foundation and its CEO/president Dick Zellner last week, but the foundation is still technically handling operations at least until a new management proposal is accepted.
The foundation was created to run the downtown El Cajon venue in 1997, but financial troubles have prompted the council to seek management elsewhere.
The foundation missed a payment to the city last year, forcing the council to declare it in breach of contract. Last January, the council suspended the foundation’s debt while a council-appointed commission analyzed the nonprofit’s finances and operations. The commission’s report was critical of the foundation, but did not find any financial mismanagement.
Henry said the foundation’s debt is now expected to reach between $2.1 million and $2.4 million by June 30, the end of the fiscal year. Officials are still negotiating as to whether the nonprofit will be able to repay the money.
“Everything is still on the table,” Henry told the paper. She said a new manager could be chosen in December. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers