City, rally promoter remain miles apart on event tab

A pair of riders cruise down the main drag during the rally Sunday afternoon. File photo by Nick Lovejoy

Council members at a special meeting Monday reviewed contract changes relating to the Hollister Independence Rally, with a final decision expected Dec. 5.

A red-line version of the contract shows changes made by promoter Roadshows Inc., referred to in the contract as Independence Rally, LLC. Changes include extending the rally from three days to four and making the contract last until 2019, rather than just having a contract for 2017.

The promoter also requested to pay $135,000 instead of $180,000, which is what the city said it costs to put on the rally.

According to the meeting’s agenda packet, the motorcycle rally area will remain at Fourth and San Benito streets. The event is planned for June 30, July 1 and July 2. Hours of the rally would be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except Sunday which would be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“If the number we’ve come up with is $180,000, that’s what it is,” said Councilman Ray Friend. “If they don’t want to pay that, hit the road.”

The Free Lance on Tuesday submitted a public records request for an itemized list of city costs for the rally.

Councilman Klauer on Monday agreed with Friend’s comments about the promoter paying $180,000.

“The four-day thing was another eye opener,” Klauer said. “You just get a bonus extra day for free? I don’t understand how that could have made it into their draft of the contract without at least knowing what they were trying to do.”

Local resident Marty Richman shared his thoughts on the promoter’s contract changes during public comment.

“You know what I read these changes as?” Richman asked the council. “These changes are somebody saying, ‘No thank you.’”

Richman continued to speak about the contract negotiations.

“When somebody says ‘I’ll pay you $145,000 or $135,000 and I want an extra day and I want a guarantee for three years and I want a place to run my operation,’ what he’s writing you is a letter that says ‘No thanks, but if you offer me enough money maybe I’ll come.’”

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