By Jane Smith
City leaders want to reclassify some “agencies” that receive taxpayer dollars as “service providers.”
“We need to move away from using ‘nonprofit status’ to describe them,” Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein said in mid-November. “The cultural change needs to start at the top.”
The city would add performance and other requirements in its leases with the Arts Garage, Old School Square, the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, the Historical Society and the Public Library. The commissioners want more accountability from the providers and remedies if they default, which can be included in a lease.
They also want to reserve the term “nonprofit” for the socioeconomic agencies such as the Boys & Girls Club, the Sandoway Discovery Center and the Achievement Centers for Children & Families.
“In doing so, traditional nonprofit funding can be maintained at or below the city’s long-standing, but ignored for many years, policy of capping nonprofit spending at 1 percent of the general fund,” Glickstein said after the meeting.
“By creating separate agreements with the service providers, future funding will be individual budget line items.”
Arts Garage lease reviewed
The Arts Garage lease was the first one reviewed at the mid-November commission meeting. Its five-year lease calls for a cut-rate annual rent of just over $1 per square foot for the 10,289-square-foot space and a 3 percent annual increase.
In return, the Arts Garage will provide the city with a cultural hub where its diverse population would feel welcome. The city also requires an annual business plan, which outlines the Arts Garage’s operations, business structure, fundraising and capital development plans, and a five-year strategic plan.
In addition, the city wants to see an independent audit after each financial year, the number of incidental non-arts-related uses limited to two per month, collaborations with other Delray Beach arts organizations, plans to diversify its board membership and the results, and an annual budget with properly kept financial records.
Missing any of the reporting requirements would be considered a default under the new lease, the city attorney said.
New Arts Garage President and CEO Marjorie Waldo asked that the incidental uses wording allow more flexibility and suggested it be relaxed to allow a total of eight hours monthly, so that if the organization wanted to host a six-hour wedding reception and a two-hour chamber meeting it could. The commission approved that change and welcomed Waldo, who has a 25-year educational background. She spent 12 years as principal of Tomorrow’s Promise Community School in Delray Beach, which served at-risk students before closing in 2014.
Library, Old School Square present complicated leases
City Manager Don Cooper said he expects to bring three other lease agreements to the commission before he leaves the city’s employment at the end of December.
“Old School Square, Spady and the Historical Society all occupy city-owned property, hence the need for a lease,” Cooper said. He described them as fairly simple, but Old School Square’s lease may be a problem. Its board would have to approve the lease first, but board members might not be able to meet before the end of the year.
Cooper characterized the library as a complex deal. The library has a 99-year ground lease with the city and its Community Redevelopment Agency. The lease was signed on Dec. 28, 2005, just before the library opened in its new location at 100 W. Atlantic Ave. Terms of the lease allow the library to buy the property for $1 after 20 years.
The library board would have to approve the new lease.
Library Board President Nancy Dockerty agreed its land lease is complicated. She also said her board has not been approached by the city about the deal. “We just know what Mr. Cooper said at the end of the commission meeting,” she said, referring to the Nov. 15 session. “We want to work with the city.”
Library Director Alan Kornblau resigned Nov. 14.
Three board members met with library staff the next day at 8:30 a.m. to let them know of Kornblau's resignation, Dockerty said.
Kornblau stopped by the library the day before Thanksgiving and chatted with his former employees. He told them about his new position as president and CEO of a membership-based organization for libraries called Amigos Library Services. Its main office is in Dallas.
Michelle Quigley contributed to this story.