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Too much, too late
by Sarah Cooper
Mar 02, 2009 | 1588 views | 4 4 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Sarah Cooper - The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority is asking the City of Sparks for more than $436,000 due to an accounting oversight.
Tribune/Sarah Cooper - The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority is asking the City of Sparks for more than $436,000 due to an accounting oversight.
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Due to an accounting oversight, the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority is requesting more than $436,000 back from the City of Sparks, potentially spelling the end of any city funding for special events this year.

“Basically, that takes all the money we have to work with for special events,” said Sparks City Councilman and tourism and marketing committee chair Ron Schmitt.

For the past three years, the city’s tourism and marketing committee has received allocations of $350,000 from the RSCVA. However, in 2003, the Nevada Legislature passed an amendment that capped the amount the committee could get from the RSCVA at $200,000 per year.

“The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) recently determined that it had paid the City of Sparks a combined excess of $436,000 in tax collections over the last three years,” RSCVA President and CEO Ellen Oppenheim said in a statement. “This is an unfortunate finding given the challenging economic landscape facing the travel and tourism industry today. The RSCVA will work with the City of Sparks to identify a fair and equitable schedule to repay the funds.”

As of Monday the city had no official response, city spokesman Adam Mayberry said.

The city of Sparks pays $180,000 for special events every year, according to parks and recreation department officials. That money comes from the city’s redevelopment agency fund.

Of the 15 special events that will come to Sparks this year, the city makes money from two: the Sparks Hometowne Farmer’s Market and the Arts in Bloom Festival.
Comments
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ArnoldChan
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March 03, 2009
This is a bad finding regardless of the economic state how could you oversea that much money! Some people should be fired!
watchdog
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March 03, 2009
That's a good idea, SamSparks, to do away with the public affairs officer. Since "As of Monday the city had no official response, city spokesman Adam Mayberry said." The city could have gotten an intern from Dilworth to make that same statement -- and saved the city a lot of money!
SamSparks0385
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March 03, 2009
Watchdog is right. Most of our elected city officials are not doing a good job. Term limits are at least our chance to get competent people in positions of leadership. If Sparks is hurting so much, why does it have the luxury of a public affairs officer? The mayor loves getting his fat face in front of the cameras. Let him do it. Save at least $100,000 per year.
watchdog
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March 03, 2009
For crying out loud . . . . does anyone really know what is going on with the city or with RSCVA . . . granted the money people at RSCVA are fiscal idiots for over paying Sparks. However, Sparks is not in much more favorable light because they accepted the over payment without question. I think most of us would realize if we got a check for more than we should have, and would have done the responsible thing an fessed up.

It's not surprisingly that this all falls under tourism and that Ron Schmitt's finger prints are again all over an embarrassing situation.

Ron Schmitt alone is a reason to support term limits.
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