Journey to the Earl Scruggs continued – Pt 4

Within Three Weeks DCC Violates The Terms Of The Lease Agreement

Term # 16. Naming Rights: The Lessee shall have the right to install plaques honoring donors in certain specific exhibit areas, but shall not have the right to name rooms or parts of the leased property.

A couple of weeks after signing the Lease Agreement with the County Commissioners to use the Historic Courthouse for the Earl Scruggs Center, Destination Cleveland County kicks off its capital campaign to raise $7.5 million for the Earl Scruggs Center and the Don Gibson Theatre. The local goal is $4.2 million, and the remainder will be sought from foundations and other grant sources.

An article in The Star on April 6, 2008 tells that campaign general chairs Robin Hendrick and J.T. Scruggs said more than 80% of the local goal has been pledged. The amount includes City of Shelby’s $500,000 matching grant for the Don Gibson Theatre and Cleveland County government’s $1.5 million to be used for interior renovations of the courthouse, as well as donor gifts from early contributors.

As part of their campaign to raise money for these two project, the next week Destination Cleveland County sent out a mailing by parcel post giving potential donors an opportunity to pay to have areas at the Don Gibson Theatre and the Earl Scruggs Center named to honor themselves, their family, or corporation.

“The Honorary Naming Opportunities” letter shows that some of the areas have already been “SOLD.”
scruggs naming rightsmIt has been just three weeks since the County Commissioners voted unanimously to lease the Historic Courthouse to Destination Cleveland County for the Earl Scruggs Center, and DCC is already violating the terms of the lease agreement.
Offering “Honorary Naming Opportunities” to name rooms is a violation of the Lease Agreement. It is obvious that DCC is naming the spaces because the letter says “Honorary Naming Opportunities.” Also, all of the areas for sale listed for the Earl Scruggs Center on the sheet are rooms.
At the April 15, 2008 County Commissioners Meeting, resident Brendan LeGrand, who had received one of the Honorary Naming Opportunities offers in the mail, gave the Commissioners a copy of the letter and addressed them about DCC’s violation of term #16 of the Lease Agreement. Mrs. LeGrand requested the Commissioners require DCC to be in compliance with the lease agreement.

Chairwoman Jo Boggs responded to Mrs. LeGrand’s complaint about DCC’s violation by stating, “I want to say as Commissioners we will be sure that this lease is followed to the letter. You can rest assured.”

The minutes from the Commissioners Meeting that were written up and approved by the Commissioners states: Chairwoman Boggs assured Ms. LeGrand that Destination Cleveland County is in compliance with the lease agreement.

To say, “I want to say as Commissioners we will be sure that this lease is followed to the letter. You can rest assured,” is not the same meaning as Chairman Boggs assured Ms. LeGrand that Destination Cleveland is in compliance with the lease agreement. The latter implies that Mrs. Boggs is saying DCC was is not in violation of the terms of the lease agreement.

Brendan LeGrand addressed the County Commissioners again at their June 3, 2008 meeting and referred to the discrepancy between what was written into the minutes of the April 15, 2008 meeting and what Chairwoman Boggs actually said. Mrs. LeGrand requested that the minutes be amended to reflect Mrs. Boggs’s accurate statement.

The Commissioners did not change the minutes to reflect what Chairwoman Boggs actually said because County Attorney Bob Yelton told them that, per NC General Statutes, minutes of the Board do not have to be verbatim.

Yet, why have minutes if they do not truthfully reflect the message of what was said?

Bob Yelton went on to say that according to Roberts Rule of Order, the minutes should contain only what was done at the meeting, not a transcript of what individuals say.

“Honorary Naming Opportunities” Is Changed To “Honorary Recognition Opportunities”

At this June 3, 2008 meeting, Brendan LeGrand also presented to Commissioners another mailing she had received from Destination Cleveland County concerning the ‘Honorary Naming Opportunities.” The word “Naming” Opportunities had been changed to “Recognition” Opportunities. This is saying the same thing. To name, honor, or recognize someone with a sign acknowledging their donaton is all the same.

Mrs. LeGrand requested that the Commissioners continue to monitor the progress of the renovation of the courthouse and see that Destination Cleveland is in compliance with the terms of the lease agreement.

Chairwoman Boggs spoke, “I as chair, request that the County Manager and the County Attorney continue to monitor the progress of the renovations of the courthouse and see that Destination Cleveland County is in compliance with the terms of the lease agreement.”

County Manager David Dear informed Commissioners that he and the attorney will review Item #16 of the lease agreement.

County Commissioners Approve Terms For DCC’s Reporting Of $1.5 Million Funds Allocated To DCC To Renovate The Historic Courthouse

Also at the June 3, 2008 Commissioners Meeting, County Manager David Dear explained the agreement that sets forth the necessary reporting of the $1.5 million the County Commissioners had approved for DCC to use to renovate the interior of the courthouse.

The agreement requires the county to budget and pay to Destination Cleveland County annually the sum of $250,000 per fiscal year for six fiscal years, including the fiscal year ending in June 30, 2008, for the sole purpose of making renovations to the courthouse building covered by the Lease Agreement.

In making the grants the County is requiring DCC to use the funds solely for the renovation of the interior of the courthouse building and to submit an annual report on the use of the funds, and DCC has agreed to submit the report.

On or before June 1, each fiscal year in which the grants are made to DCC, DCC must submit to the County Manager a complete report as to how the grant funds have been used. If all of the funds have not been spent during any fiscal year, the report shall also contain an accounting of how the funds are invested. The report shall be prepared by a Certified Public Accountant. If DCC fails to submit the Annual Report, the County may withhold all further grants until the report is submitted. This agreement cannot be altered or modified except in writing signed by County and DCC.

AGREEMENT: This agreement made and entered into on this the 3rd day of June, 2008 by and between CLEVELAND COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, a governmental sub-Division of the State of North Carolina, hereinafter referred to as the County” and DESTINATION CLEVELAND COUNTY, INC., a North Carolina Non-Profit Corporation, hereinafter referred to as “DCC”,

WITNESSETH
WHEREAS the parties hereto have heretofore entered into a Lease
Agreement dated March 18, 2008, covering buildings located on the Old
Court Square in the City of Shelby, North Carolina;

and WHEREAS the County subject to annual budgetary requirements has
agreed to grant to DCC the sum of $250,000 per fiscal year for 6 fiscal years,
including the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, for the sole purpose of making
renovations to the building covered by said Lease Agreement, and WHEREAS the
County in making said grants is requiring DCC to submit an annual report on
the use of said funds and DCC has agreed to submit said report;

NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and the mutual covenants
herein contained and set forth, the parties agree as follows: 1. County,
subject to annual budgetary requirements, shall grant the sum of $250,000
per fiscal year for 6 fiscal years, including the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008,
to DCC for the sole purpose of renovating the interior of the buildings covered
by a Lease Agreement between the parties.

2. DCC agrees to use said annual grants for the sole purpose of renovating the
interior of the buildings covered by said Lease Agreement.

3. On or before June 1 each fiscal year in which grants
are made to DCC, DCC shall submit to the County Manager of Cleveland
County a complete report as to how the grant funds have been used. If all
of the funds have not been spent during any fiscal year, the report shall also
contain an accounting of how said funds are invested. The report as
required by this Paragraph 3 shall be prepared by a Certified Public
Accountant. 4. If DCC fails to submit said Annual Report, the County may
withhold all further grants until such report is submitted.

5. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties
concerning the subject matter hereof, and it shall not be altered or modified
except in writing signed by County and DCC.
6. This Agreement shall be binding upon inure to the benefit of the parties hereto,
their respective successors and assigns.
7. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with
the laws of the State of North Carolina. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the
County and DCC have caused this agreement to be duly executed, this the
day and year first written above. CLEVELAND COUNTY By: Rebecca Jo
Powell Boggs, Chairwoman Cleveland County Board of Commissioners

DESTINATION CLEVELAND COUNTY, INC. By: Martha R. Plaster,
Chair, Destination Cleveland County Board and By: John Schweppe, III,
Secretary, Destination Cleveland County Board.