It has been 17 years and 237 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Peter Corbett’s article in the August 21, 2015 edition of the Arizona Republic reports settlement of a 2014 law suit between the Coyotes and Jason Rose of Rose+Moser+Allyn Public & Online Relations firm. Here is the link: .

The Coyotes had hired Rose’s public relations firm to work to defeat a citizen referendum in Glendale designed to block the arena deal between the Coyotes and the city. The referendum was unsuccessful and the Coyotes subsequently owed the firm a base fee of $25,000 and a $250,000 bonus. To pay off the debt the Coyotes were supposed to sponsor the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships (Rose’s baby) to the tune of $55,000 annually and give two front row hockey tickets for 8 games a season for 5 years.

Then LeBlanc seems to have stiffed Rose. The public relations firm got its base fee of $25,000 and one year of sponsorship in 2013…not the $55,000 promised but only $25,000. After that the spigot closed and the Coyotes did not pay another dime.

The judge handling the case granted the public relations firm’s motion for a jury trial. Can you imagine? Another round of negative publicity from a jury trial for the Coyotes? You can be sure after that motion was granted the real negotiation for a final settlement began. Last week both sides finally settled.

What is in this final settlement? No one knows. The terms are undisclosed and no one is talking…not the Coyotes and not Rose. Rose probably got his pound of flesh or he wouldn’t have settled. LeBlanc probably shouldn’t have promised what appears he didn’t intend to deliver.

It raises an issue of concern. The city’s cancelling of the original lease management agreement was a wise move. What was LeBlanc failing to report that the city had no means to verify? If and when the city reenters negotiation with the Coyotes for another long term agreement hopefully the city will include protections and means of verification that were absent in the original agreement. However, it would be prudent for the city to wait until the RFP bids have come in. They will be very helpful in determining fair market values. This time around there are lessons to be learned from recent history. Let’s hope the city does its homework.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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