In a stunning revelation no one could ever have seen coming, the Journal Star reports that the Peoria Riverfront Museum is not holding up their end of the bargain with Peoria County taxpayers.
For months, county officials have asked for — but not received — audited financial statements from last year, federal tax forms and a copy of the museum’s operating and capital budget. [...]
The museum’s fiscal year ended June 30, 2012 — nearly 10 months ago — and Scott Sorrel, one of the county’s top administrators, said the county has been seeking financial records since shortly after the new fiscal year began.
Jim Richerson, the museum’s president, said Tuesday in an email response to questions that last year’s audit hadn’t been completed.
And by “hasn’t been completed,” he no doubt means, “we haven’t figured out how to spin this yet.” It’s pretty obvious to anyone who has driven by or even visited the museum that this place is not reaching its attendance goals, and that means it’s not meeting its revenue goals either. So why not just own up to the truth?
Well, first of all, the museum folks don’t like being told what to do, and part of their contract with Peoria County is that the County can dictate a scaling-back of operations if the museum is not profitable. That would be embarrassing for the museum folks.
Secondly, when was the last time the museum folks told the truth? Not about the IMAX they promised. Remember when they said they had a contract with IMAX on their desk just waiting to be signed once the referendum passed? Remember when they said they were going to get 1,000 visitors a day to the museum block–240,000 per year to the museum alone? Then they tried to revise history a few months ago, saying that the goal was really only 180,000 per year? The spin factory has been in full production for a while down at Museum Square.
In fact, looking at the Wikihow article on “How to Lie,” I would suspect that the museum folks have made it to step 14 (“never lie to government officials”). And if you can’t lie, what option is left?