Thursday, August 28, 2008

FOIA Friday - August 29, 2008

The City of Toledo still can't get it right when it comes to the Erie Street Market. Yesterday, I requested a public record - a copy of the rental agreement for Bay 4 of the ESM for the event scheduled this weekend. Robert Croak is running the event, but the rental agreement is a simple letter, hand delivered and signed by him and Connie Hoffman, the manager of the Market.

Here is a copy of the agreement for the Chiodos Concert scheduled for 4 p.m. - 1 a.m. But note the text of the letter says the rent is for the date of August 16, 2008, even though the money is due the day of the event, August 29, and the bay has to be cleaned up the following day, August 30.

With all the attention focused on the mismanagement and mishandling of the renovations to Bay 4, you'd think they'd be extra careful to ensure that all things were done correctly. But since they're not using any type of normal contract for the 'rental' of this area, it should come as no surprise that they're just inserting each week's event into a form letter and printing it out. However, they've obviously missed changing one of the dates...and neither Hoffman nor Croak noticed the error. Croak also didn't mind that his company name became 'Enterproses.'

Sometimes, having access to public records tells you more than you want to know.


Tim Higgins said...


Can you explain the use of the word "memorialize" in this letter? I looked it up in Webster and found the definitions:

1 : to address or petition by a memorial
2 : commemorate

Surely this cannot be what they mean.

This is not only not a contract, it appears to have only a passing acquaintance with the English language.

Maggie Thurber said...

Tim - I tried to find some pithy response about 'commemorating' the agreement, considering the mayor's insistence that the ESM will be profitable, but I haven't yet had my coffee, so...

I think everyone is skirting around the issue here. It's not a contract - at least, it's not like the contract you'd sign if you were renting space in the market or a wedding or some other event. And if it's not a contract, that way, there are no requirements or rules to be caught up in.

Of course, there's no protection of liability, no guidelines for damage to the public property and none of those pesky little details the rest of us would be subject to if we wanted to rent the facility.

Also, since we're talking details, the website address at the bottom of the letterhead isn't valid. Go figure!

Tim Higgins said...


I hereby formally wish to apologize for asking you to bring logic and reason to anyting involving the City of Toledo.

I should have known better ...

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