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July 18, 2012

DHS Festival Advisory Committee - July 18

The audio recording of this meeting of the Desert Hot Springs Festival Committee is available here. Present at this meeting were Chair Brian Michaelz, Ed Trost, Paul Ryan and Linda Lennon-Roth, as well as City Manager Rick Daniels.

Since the committee's last meeting, the revised RFP was sent out to a better list of potential producers. Two replies were received:

Shaun Kruse says he's been in the business for 60 years and no one has ever asked him for his credentials. He advises that "in this business people get work by their reputation, not resumes. (that is part of your problem now-- and by fellow preformers knowing who is honest and who isn't)." He suggests the city should go to the "Iafe convention" in Las Vegas on December 1. IAFE is the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. Mr. Kruse asks to meet the committee face to face. He included scans of some of his past events. Those include the 1971 West L.A. Area Fair in Santa Monica. He includes documentation identifying the Executive Director and General Manager, the Office Administrator, the Exhibit Coordinator, and the Assistant Coordinator, none of whom are Mr. Kruse. He also included information on the 1969 West L.A. Area Fair which was produced by Abbott & Associates, Ron Abbott General Manager. That's the extent of his supporting documentation, and none of it includes his name.

When I Google for "Shaun Kruse" I find a listing on the website of the Joshua Tree Chamber of Commerce with an address in Joshua Tree that identifies him as "Shaun Kruse Show Attendance Promoter." I suspect a show attendance promoter might be different than a show promoter. Here is an article entitled "The World's Best Event Promoter Is . . ." which Shaun Kruse commented on, saying only "Congratulations - this is my kind of web site. - Shaun."

The proposal received from Shawn Isaac is a bit more professional in appearance. He says he has experience that includes "production (sound, stage, lighting), celebrity talent booking, securing corporate sponsors, dealing with vendors, adhering to governmental institution policies, catering to different types of needs, creating marketing campaigns and branding, attaining a profit, utilizing provided assets, maintaining a charitable aspect, and being in constant communication and reporting with the event authorities and funders."

The Desert Sun had an article about him on January 18, 2011. He was age 21 at the time. He's a graduate of Palm Desert High School. He was a summer intern with CVEP where "he helped CVEP coordinate efforts to sell clean-energy companies by setting up travel arrangements and doing other errands for visiting executives." He worked on Jan Harnik's successful campaign for Palm Desert City Council.

Here's more information about his experience. Here's his Facebook page. And his Twitter page with almost 70,000 followers.

Here he gets interviewed at the Reality Rocks Expo. Here's his YouTube channel. Here's an article about him winning the "Get Close to John Legend" contest after he submitted a 2-minute video on the subject "What have you done to make a positive impact on your community?" I'm ready to conclude that there are two or three Shawn Isaacs and none of them sleep.

At the committee meeting Kristie Ramos distributed an email that had come in from Manuel Montoya. Here's the PDF of that email in which he says he wasn't able to submit an RFP before the deadline. He is associated with Jimmy Osmond who is one of the Osmonds. Here he is singing My Little Darling which got him a gold record, the first for the Osmonds.

Here's Mr. Montoya's website. His Facebook page. His Twitter page. And here a completely anonymous person alleges that Mr. Montoya had to be evicted after failure to pay rent.

Mr. Montoya said in his email that he wants to speak with City Manager Daniels, but of course he's going to have to speak to the committee, not Mr. Daniels.

Public Comment

The meeting commenced and Micky Brown spoke to the committee, indicating she would be the fourth potential producer of this event to show interest. She said she has lived here for 45 years. She's been doing concerts and festivals for 35 years. She is James Brown's niece. She has a lot of experience in coordinating events with promoters. She networks with music entertainment. She brought her resume. She said Desert Hot Springs needs an event like this to bring people from out of town.

She said she was in the process of moving back to DHS when the most recent RFP went out, so she didn't get it. She referred to the first RFP that went out to prepare herself for a proposal.

Mr. Daniels explained that the City Attorney had said that the only way to include the late proposals from Mr. Montoya and Ms. Brown would be to reject the proposals from Mr. Kruse and Mr. Isaac, re-issue the RFP (with a short deadline) and then look at all four proposals.

Mr. Michaelz said he was a little "confused" by the submission from Mr. Kruse. He said he saw nothing that indicated Mr. Kruse's involvement in the two fairs. Mr. Daniels said that if this was a submission to the city council, Mr. Kruse's submission would have been thrown out as "non-responsive."

OTOH, Mr. Michaelz said the proposal from Mr. Isaac sounded promising. But he went on to say that first the committee must decide if it would proceed with interviews of the two submissions received before the deadline, or should it re-issue the RFP so that the two late comers could be included.

Ms. Lennon-Roth said she favored giving everyone a shot, especially Ms. Brown, since she actually came to the meeting. She suggested that it be explained to Mr. Kruse specifically what the committee needs - not just newspaper clippings from 1971.

Mr. Ryan said he didn't see anything in Mr. Isaac's proposal that made it clear he was willing to produce the event. He didn't say "I have funding." He said he favored re-issuing the RFP and make it clear to everyone who comes forward that they should be prepared to say how they would fund the event.

Mr. Ryan brought up the question of whether after this third RFP, if the committee does not have a clear recommendation to make to the city council, would they recommend to stop the process. The consensus of the committee was to re-issue the RFP with a two-week deadline, then either act on the results or conclude their operations. Mr. Michaelz said the successful applicant should have the money available to produce the event. A promise to raise the funds is not good enough. Mr. Ryan said that if they awarded a contract to someone who promised to raise money, but then failed to raise the money, it would be a "death sentence."

In answer to a question from Mr. Trost, Mr. Daniels said that Two Bunch Palms Resort is looking at building a small amphitheater and they are interested in being the venue for a festival.

The committee expects to meet again to discuss the results of the third RFP on September 5. Then they will either schedule interviews or advise the city council to drop the idea.

Filed under Desert Hot Springs | permalink | July 18, 2012 at 10:57 PM


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