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Poway Center Director Resigns

Gary Neiger, executive director of the financially troubled Poway (CA) Center for the Performing Arts, has turned in his letter of resignation, effective December 6, reports the North County Times. Neiger said he holds himself responsible for the city-owned center's financial woes, which has a $100,000 debt.

Two days prior to his resignation Poway Center for the Performing Arts Foundation received $252,000 from the city. Most of it will used to pay off its debt and keep the organization operating through the end of the fiscal year next June; The foundation handles professional programming at the 815-seat theater.

"I have come to the conclusion that it is in everybody's best interest to start fresh with new leadership at the foundation," Neiger wrote in his letter. "All too often, we see nonprofit executives fail to step up and take responsibility for their leadership. The result is erosion in public confidence. As the CEO, I take full responsibility for the financial difficulties that the foundation is currently facing."

Foundation President Marc Davis told the paper, "We struggled with the acceptance but thought that it was best for the foundation and best for Gary. Both sides have the greatest respect for each other. "We wish (Neiger) the very best and are going to support him in his future endeavors."

Neiger was the center's first full-time director and was hired by the foundation in November 1998 after a nationwide search.

A nationwide search will get started for both an interim director and, eventually, a long-term one.