Friday, March 07, 2008

Erie Street Market did NOT make a profit

Despite claims to the contrary, now that we've received a summary of the unaudited financial statements for this operation from the city (and calling it a summary is kind), it's clear to see that the Erie Street Market did NOT make a profit in November/December following the takeover by the city. (background here).

NBC24 reporter, Aaron Brilbeck began his morning with Bob Reinbolt, the mayor's chief of staff, refusing to turn over the numbers saying "No I won't go on your silly TV station just so you can make a fool out of me."

This afternoon, mayoral spokesman Brian Schwartz told Aaron that the numbers had been turned over to the city's finance department which promptly rejected them as being 'inaccurate.'

However, just before 6 p.m., Schwartz emailed a spreadsheet to NBC24. WSPD morning show host Fred Lefebvre called in to Eye on Toledo to report that NBC24 did have a story on the losses during their 6 p.m. newscast.

Here are the unaudited numbers the city provided:

My first thought on seeing these numbers was to wonder at why something so simple took 2 months to produce. But then I looked at what was - and wasn't - included in the figures.

Unless 'contractual administration' includes the wages, etc...of the ESM manager, there are no wages, benefits, payroll taxes for her. There is no charge for insurance. Even if utilities and other overhead costs are assumed by the city, they should still be listed somewhere on the financial statement, especially now that the city is running the operation. Without an accounting of those costs, even if paid by another source, there is no true account of the viability of venture.

City departments get charged for various 'services' other departments perform for them. There are no charges on this spreadsheet for legal, accounting, auditing or other such fees. There are no telephone expenses...and Citifest detailed a line item for the piped-in music, which is not listed on the city's spreadsheet.

Perhaps it is the lack of these items which resulted in the finance department characterization of the report as "inaccurate."

Even without these expenses, the ESM did not make a profit in November/December as claimed by the mayor and various staff in January. And these numbers should make anyone seriously question whether or not it can make a profit at all - and whether or not the city should continue sponsorship of this entity, or just sell it.


Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave. . .


What's that yellow "schmutz" on your face mayor, egg?

Brian Maxson said...

Maggie, after enjoying the trials and tribulations of aquiring basic information concerning an entity the City Administrators "claimed" made a profit, and having the information provided not only being half-assed, but completely wrong, I truly and seriously have to wonder the qualifications of these people and the well-paid positions they hold.

Seems to me one knows where to trim the fat, and we can start with Chief of Staff and methodically work our way down.

And to have the nerve to instill fear in the community to get thier way.

navyvet said...

Hi Maggie,

This finance report is laughable.

Incompentency in this administration is rampant.

So much for the mayor's honesty...


Timothy W Higgins said...


The other point that needs to be brought out here is that these were the numbers reported during the busiest shopping months of the year. Months when every other retail outlet makes exceptionally high profits that they live off of for the rest of the year. If the ESM loses money during this period, how will it fare during the leaner retail months?

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