Thursday, April 28, 2016

JCVB Head Earned Almost $100k in 2014

Who says that you can’t earn a good living running a non-profit?

Violet Peters, the CEO for the Jefferson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (JCVB), was paid $98,035 in 2014 according to JCVB tax returns.The 2015 tax return was not available.

The non-profit spent $464,836 of its $2.1 Million budget (21%) on personnel in 2014. The JCVB received the bulk of its budget, $1.9 Million from government grants including $1.2 Million from Jefferson Parish.

The group spent $1.478 Million, 69% of its 2014 budget, on Advertising.

The JCVB has been under scrutiny after Kenner State Senator Danny Martiny introduced a bill which would direct 100% of Jefferson Parish’s Hotel/Motel Tax to the bureau, bypassing the Jefferson Parish Council and all Parish oversight.

At the last Jefferson Parish Council meeting, the Council deferred a resolution of support for Martiny’s bill by Councilmen Ben Zahn (whose District is served by Martiny) and Jennifer Van Vrancken.

Citing the removal of oversight, Jefferson Parish Inspector General David McClintock was highly critical of Martiny’s bill and the resolution of support. In fact, McClintock suggested that the Council should take the opposite stance and offer a resolution against Martiny’s bill.

The JCVB has operated under a CEA with the Parish and signed a new 5-year CEA in July, 2015. 

The CEA calls for the JCVB to receive a portion of JP’s Hotel/Motel Tax and, in return, subject itself to audit by the Parish. These audits would be removed if Martiny’s bill is successful.

At the Council meeting, Ms. Peters said that Martiny’s bill was essential for the JCVB to have a stable funding source that could not be removed by politicians. She cited a 30-day Cancellation Clause written into the Cooperative Endeavor Agreement (CEA) with Jefferson Parish.

However, the prior CEAs between the JCVB and the Parish also included the Cancellation Clause, as do other CEAs between the Parish and NGOs receiving tax dollars.  

The Zahn/Van Vrancken resolution was deferred until the May 11th Council meeting. Martiny said that he will not move on the bill until a resolution of support by the Council is passed.