City to approve loan agreement from mayor and wife

400-BOLES-MAYOR-JLAfter the Picasso exhibit closed, Historic City News reporters announced the opening of the most recent exhibit at the Visitor Information Center — the “Ordinary People” collection of oil-on-canvas paintings by artist Don Trousdell; being exhibited from August 17th through October 27th.

This exhibit is a colorful, folksy presentation featuring some of St Augustine’s first colonists. The exhibit is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the St Augustine Visitor Information Center located at 10 Castillo Drive.

What we did not report, nor was it known, that the exhibit is owned by St Augustine Mayor Joseph L. Boles, Jr., and his wife Jane, as trustees of the Joseph and Jane Boles Trust, and that the city had not already approved an exhibition agreement with the trust prior to its implementation.

In fact, it was not until Tuesday, August 20, that 450th Commemoration Director, Dana Ste. Claire, asked City Manager John Regan to place the 10-page loan agreement for the exhibit on the “consent agenda” for approval during Monday evening’s regular City Commission meeting. Regan put the exhibition agreement on the published agenda, instead, with Ste. Claire to make a presentation to the commissioners; publicly explaining the agreement and supporting photos.

According to the agenda item, the Trust is loaning the collection, free of charge, as a donation to the 450th Commemoration. No value for that donation is reported on the agenda or indicated in the exhibition agreement — nor, for insurance or loss adjustment, is the cost to replace the “thirty-two (32) original works of art, which relate the significant history and cultural heritage of the City of St Augustine through time”.

Although there is no rental fee, as was paid for the Picasso exhibit, the City “shall undertake all responsibility for all costs for the care, maintenance and security of the Exhibition while on display and shall provide all personnel required to supervise, operate, maintain and secure the Exhibition”.

The City also agrees to provide goods, personnel and services to curate, market and promote the Exhibition; including incorporation of the City’s 450th Commemoration branding “on all curatorial, marketing and promotional materials associated with the Exhibition”.

The loan of the exhibit also provides for the City to schedule, produce and host, at the City’s expense, certain publicly attended “special events” in the Exhibition area on dates and at times other than the dates and times regularly scheduled for public viewing, without advance notification to the Trust. During those special events, at the City’s expense, the City must “maintain the condition of the Exhibit area” and “provide for the preservation of, and the security of, the Exhibition”.

The agreement calls for the City to maintain a “general liability insurance policy” providing “wall-to-wall” insurance coverage on “the entire contents of the Exhibition” for the duration of the Exhibition — public or unannounced special events included.

If you plan to attend, the City Commission Meeting will be held on Monday, August 26, 2013, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room of the City Hall Building located at 75 King Street in St Augustine. You can watch the meeting live on Comcast Government Television channel 3. New safety measures will require attendees to empty the contents of their pockets, subject their bags to search, and submit to an electronic frisk performed by uniformed police using handheld wands upon entry, or re-entry, to the meeting room. Allow sufficient additional time to accomplish this new safety measure.

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