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Saturday, July 23, 2011

CRVA Letter of Agreement with PricewaterhouseCooper -- expenses over $ 25K ?

Mr. Derick Close, Chairman, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), signed an Engagement Letter for services with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) on May 2, 2011 to “serve as an independent advisor to the CRVA Board in support of the Board’s own internal audit, review, and assessment of the CRVA’s operating policies and procedures and organizational structure.  PwC will provide consultation to include research of existing documents, participate in discussions with CRVA Board members, and industry insights…”
The letter further states:  “It is understood and agreed that PwC will not be responsible for any review and/or audit of the CRVA’s operating policies or organizational structure.”

WHAT???  Is this the understanding of the public, the Council, Mayor, and City Manager before we paid $25,000 for Consultation with PricewaterhouseCoopers?

But, did we pay $25,000?   So far, no representative of CRVA or the City will answer that question—and upon reading the agreement letter, it seems a fair question:

(PwC) “We estimate our fees for this engagement will be $25,000… At the time the fees for the engagement reach $25,000, PwC will so notify Client in writing, and Client will elect in writing whether to receive additional services.  In addition to professional fees, PwC also will bill Client for our reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, any applicable sales, use or value added tax, and internal per-ticket charges for booking travel.”

They agreed upon a $25,000 retainer up front and the remainder to be invoiced on May 27th, 2011.
It seems that someone in the position Senior Director of Communications would be already know or be able to find out whether PwC was paid $25,000—or more… but she has insisted she doesn’t know and would not get the answer as of this posting, despite being designated by the City to release the information requested.   Refusing to give an answer before Monday’s vote doesn’t feel like transparency.

I would like to know what additional monies have been paid.  I would like to know if the Mayor, Council, City Manager, or any other City Employees knew all this money would not be spent to actually audit the CRVA. 
Would you?

View the entire Letter of Agreement  here

UPDATE: 7/28/2011  Monday night's vote by Council and the Mayor was unanimous to give millions more of our money away to a group which has demonstrated stellar poor judgment in operating themselves, their budget, and our City-owned facilities.   As far as Cooksey's strong words of support leading up, I'm not surprised that the Hospitality Community supports having buckets more tax money coming their way at our expense.

Open all the books.  When even children could explain what was wrong with your bonus and other related policies, you need to stand up, admit the decisions you have made poorly, then get on with fixing them to move forward...  calling in the City Attorney (why is this the only time we consider the CRVA a City Agency?--when they need attorney's dollars?) to claim there was no ethical problem just wasn't the way to go.  Mea culpas and plans to change in short order would have likely sufficed.

See the concerns and views stated during the Council Meeting on July 25th by going to this link 

You can "JUMP TO" "Citizen Comments" for some strong comments from Wayne Powers and then "JUMP TO" "CRVA Vote" to get to that debate.   Just because that vote is over doesn't mean it's too late to express your concern or viewpoint to our elected officials and City Manager Curt Walton, who is not elected, but serves at the pleasure of the Council/Mayor.  Manager Walton has responsiblity for running most of the City (details to follow in another "get to know your government" post for newcomers).   

But do write about what you want to happen with the organization(s), facilities, and other related items.  There's much ahead to be done.  Bottom line, we want this to be successful.

Really, could we get a response to


  1. Yes, I would! I DO care how THEY spend my tax dollars. Why isn't the news telling us this stuff?

  2. My letter...


    Dear Council Members, Mayor Foxx and Mr. Walton,

    It was very disturbing to read about the CRVA - PwC audit situation in a few places today, first at
    and the news seemed to spread...

    In short, I am concerned that City Council agreed to a $25,000 contract that does not appear to include 1) an audit of the CRVA's spending 2) travel expenses, etc for the PwC employees.

    Please make sure you look into this matter VERY closely prior to voting on Monday!


  3. @July 23, 2011 2:59 PM

    Because anyone who tries to get the truth out in this town is immediately shut down......

  4. So, PricewaterhouseCoopers signed up to get paid a minimum of $25,000 plus any other additional fees and expenses they might bill in order to review only what the CRVA gave them to review, and sit around at a couple of meetings talking consultant lingo for "insdustry speak" ?

    If that's what City Staff is calling excellent stewardship of tax dollars, then it's time for them to step aside as well. Time for some real leadership in all areas.

  5. When the Mayor complained about what PwC produced last month, why didn't he ask to see this contract?

    We deserve better. Time for answers all around.