Forgets Settlement Agreement
Desert Hot Springs, CA – Mayor Yvonne Parks is threatening to sue Tony Clarke, the promoter of the defunct 2010 Wellness and World Music Festival that cost her city $265,000 with no result. The failed event now lingers as a re-election problem for Parks.
The problem with Mayor Parks plans to sue is she already signed a settlement agreement with Tony Clarke. Her deal promised to Clarke the city would not sue him in exchange for his turning over the assets of the music festival. He did that.
So how is that Mayor Yvonne Parks is now claiming she wants to sue Tony Clarke, claims she took to the local media airwaves.
In 2010, city funds were sent by wire transfer to Tony Clarke whose business address turned out to be a post office box at a UPS store in prestigious Marina Del Rey. Clarke had no previous experience producing a music festival like he pitched to the city. Parks bought the pitch and gave him the money.
Adding to Yvonne Parks misplaced confidence in the deal was a local resident, Bruce Barrett, who pushed as hard for the music deal as did Tony Clarke. It turned out, however, that Barrett was a long-time friend of Clarke and this was not revealed to the citizenry. Both attended Beverly Hills High School graduating in the same class.
Tony Clarke Spin Kept Public in Dark
After the event was canceled, nobody wanted to admit defeat. An election was on the horizon so out came the spin. Parks was adamant the city retained the “assets” of the event. The spin kept the voting public satisfied with the expectation all was not lost. That bought Parks a year and got her past her last re-election.
The assets, by the way, consisted of nothing more than the name of the event, the logo and a parking plan created by the Desert Hot Springs police department.
Adding to the possibility the festival might still take place was the formation of a city council appointed festival advisory committee of experts tasked with looking into how a festival could take place in the city and to seek a new promoter. That bought Parks more time.
Now comes the news from the festival committee that an event as presented by Clarke and bought by Parks is not possible and never was. That was not good news for Yvonne Parks now again facing reelection. When the Festival Committee disbanded it shot the failed music festival back in the news and Parks needed a new spin.
Mayor Yvonne Parks Now Talking Tough
Speaking in radio and television interviews a couple weeks ago, Parks took her new get tough approach announcing she is going to push the city to sue Tony Clarke.
But this time there is just one nagging little detail. Mayor Yvonne Parks signed a settlement agreement with Clarke on behalf of the city.
What Parks hoped would bring an end to the politically embarrassing matter has now put a painful political liability smack back in the news.
Initially the public was simply shocked by the canceled event and the $265,000 of taxpayer money that was lost. It was then given hope the show could go on when Parks announced the settlement agreement ant that the city had secured the music festival assets. With those assets in hand Parks announced the festival would happen in October of 2011, just weeks before the election.
So at one time while the settlement and securing the festival assets served to quell public criticism it now haunts her and drives her to wanting to sue Clarke. For Parks the question is what to do now.
Her answer is to take to the airwaves, sound tough and say she is leading the charge to file suit against Tony Clarke. Viable? Only if Clarke agrees to forget the settlement agreement he has in his lawyers hands which says the city has agreed not to sue him.
There in a nut shell is the shell game of a tough talking Mayor Parks saying the city will sue Tony Clarke to get the taxpayer’s money back. If Yvonne Parks is not careful, she will be walking the city into a lawsuit, not against Tony Clarke but by Tony Clarke against Mayor Parks and the city for breach of a settlement agreement.
More to come: Watch for Mayor Yvonne Parks to next blame Laura Green for the failure of the event, something already hinted at in case her new get tough spin does not work.