Thursday, June 14, 2018
By David Skolnick
The city’s board of control approved a professional-services contract with 2Deep Entertainment, operated by Terrill Vidale, to serve as the coordinator of downtown events and citywide special projects.
The contract, approved Wednesday and is retroactive to May 14, pays $25,000 through the end of the year for the work.
The contract was the source of a dispute between the administration and members of council that became somewhat heated during a May 16 council meeting.
Council members wanted to know why the deal – which originally called for Vidale to be paid $42,437 annually – wasn’t done by a council ordinance. Brown, who heads the board of control, changed the contract to be $25,000 through the rest of the year thus allowing the administration to not need council’s approval.
Council must approve contracts that exceed $25,000 under state law.
Rather than hire Vidale outright, Brown said he went with a professional-services contract to save the city money on benefits including health-insurance coverage and pension costs.
Council members also said there could be a conflict of interest with Vidale’s company having an outstanding $375,000 loan from the city that helped the entertainment-booking business buy a downtown building at 237 E. Front St. and because 2Deep has received city money for an annual gospel festival.
The company will not sponsor events in the city while under contract, said Law Director Jeff Limbian, a board of control member.
Limbian also said there isn’t a conflict of interest with 2Deep having a city loan. The loan is to be paid by September.
Vidale is serving as the city’s point man for downtown festivals and other events, as well as citywide marketing efforts.
He replaces Michael McGiffin, who had the position from November 2014 until his resignation in February.
McGiffin left the city job to become Stambaugh Auditorium’s director of development and community relations.