"Coliseum VIP Lounge Shocks Councilmembers
...Brown is now in the design phase of building an Atlantic Coast Conference VIP lounge between War Memorial Auditorium and the Arena.
...[Rashad] Young said he found out about the proposed new structure this week and said that the $1.25 million was not on the Coliseum budget that he had seen.
...Brown was just slapped down by the City Council on April 6 when the council ordered him to stop work on the outdoor amphitheater he had started, and on which he had spent over $95,000 on construction before the council found out about it.
...At that time Councilmember Nancy Vaughan asked that, in the future, the council be informed before, not after, any additional money was spent on the amphitheater.
...So the council said no to spending on the amphitheater and now Brown is going ahead with plans to build this VIP lounge without notifying the council or manager before starting the design process.
...According to Young it didn't show up in the Coliseum budget, so there was no way for him to question how it was to be spent, since he didn't know it existed.
...The Coliseum receives about $1.8 million a year from the city's general fund to cover operating costs.
...Young said he didn't know much about the structure that is under design other than it was going to be an "ACC VIP lounge." He did say that the contract would have to go to the City Council before moving forward and that he would have to sign any construction contracts.
...[Trudy] Wade said she found out about the whole project because she was looking for some money that she understood the Coliseum had received from their vendor contract that didn't show up on the books.
When asked about the fact that the design phase of this project had already started when the council had not even been told about the money Wade said, "I'm shocked that they would continue to do this after the lack of information that we had about the amphitheater and the problems that has caused."
Brown could not be reached for comment...
...[Mary] Rakestraw said..."it is disappointing that we have just been through the amphitheater deal and I was told Matt Brown said he was going to get his amphitheater. It seems he doesn't have any respect for the City Council at all or his boss, the city manager.""
Rhino Times, May 14, 2010