Promoter proposes contract to panel

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Atlanta promoter Jerry Dickerson is proposing a consulting contract with the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority that would make him a millionaire if the city builds a new sports and entertainment arena.

He e-mailed copies to authority members the night before Tuesday's meeting. Member Janice Jenkins, irked that she hadn't had time to go over it, got the contract taken off the agenda.

"This is something the board cannot be forced into doing, or manipulated into," Ms. Jenkins said.

Under the contract terms, Mr. Dickerson would be paid $150,000 between the signing of the deal and June 1. He'd be paid another $350,000 "upon a successful vote by the public/citizens of Augusta-Richmond County," apparently referring to a vote to build a new facility using special-purpose penny sales tax funds.

Then he'd earn a "project facilitator/consultant fee" -- 2 percent of the cost of renovations or buildings, to be paid quarterly. An 18,000- to 20,000-seat facility such as he's proposing is estimated to cost $125 million to $250 million.

That would mean that, on the low end of the estimates, Mr. Dickerson would make $2.5 million. On the high end, $5 million.

Mr. Dickerson said he wasn't trying to ramrod the contract past the authority Tuesday. The death of his attorney's father caused the delay in getting it to authority members, he said.

"You put it out there to provoke dialogue," he said. "Everything is negotiable."

Authority Chairman Richard Isdell, who along with Vice Chairman William Fennoy was charged with negotiating the contract, called the pay terms "ludicrous." He said before going into business with Mr. Dickerson, the authority needs to find out more about a lawsuit he filed against the operators of Atlanta's Chastain Park.

According to a Georgia Court of Appeals decision, in the 1990s Chastain Ventures made 35 percent of the park's event dates available to Jerry Dickerson Presents Inc., to comply with Atlanta's minority business requirements. Mr. Dickerson never put up money for any concerts or signed contracts with any artists, the document says, but under the agreement, to use his dates the company had to lease them back, paying him $70,000 per year from at least 1998 to 2000.

Mr. Dickerson disputed that version of events, saying he "absolutely" booked dates at Chastain Park. He said his dealings with Chastain Ventures were soured by the controversies surrounding former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.

When the company's co-owners sold all of their stock for about $16 million, Mr. Dickerson sued for a $2.6 million share, claiming his involvement as a minority business made him a partner, a position the courts rejected.

On a motion from member Jack Usry, the coliseum authority voted to revisit Mr. Dickerson's contract at a special-called meeting next month. Ms. Jenkins said she won't vote for it. Now is not the right time to put a new arena on the SPLOST ballot, considering the economy and the city's tight 2009 budget, she said.

"If I'm in place in a timely fashion," Mr. Dickerson said, "(voters) would get something very exciting and provocative to consider."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

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HillGuy
7
Points
HillGuy 11/26/08 - 02:33 am
0
0
This contract has "shady"

This contract has "shady" written all over it. How many times do the the voters have to reject a taxpayer funded sports arena before the coliseum board gets the message. Augusta has so many more important issues it has to deal with before something like this is even considered.

dickworth1
954
Points
dickworth1 11/26/08 - 03:56 am
0
0
Dump the plan and the
Unpublished

Dump the plan and the contract with jerry dickerson! This is not
the time or the person to deal with in lieu of the past history of
his dealings. Why not let private investors build a bigger complex and get the city out of the business of losing money!

As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 11/26/08 - 04:10 am
0
0
Anyone with 1/2 a brain can

Anyone with 1/2 a brain can see through this bogus contract. To spend a penny of taxpayer money to "study" if we should do anything with this bogus promoter would be a total waste.

Just My Opinion
6262
Points
Just My Opinion 11/26/08 - 04:51 am
0
0
This man has obviously made a

This man has obviously made a living off of manipulating the system whereby governments and organizations feel forced to making deals with minorities in order to comply with government mandates. He is not on the same professional and ethical level as other more legitimate minority businesses. He offers nothing but smoke and mirrors! The thing I am truly, truly nervous about is that he is dealing with the Augusta Colisieum Authority, which has a history of making asinine decisions that have cost the city/county millions through the years! This would certainly be one of them!

avidreader
3560
Points
avidreader 11/26/08 - 07:13 am
0
0
Ms. Jenkins, HOORAY for

Ms. Jenkins, HOORAY for standing up for fiscal responsibility.

paulwheeler
137
Points
paulwheeler 11/26/08 - 07:34 am
0
0
Why does it seem impossible

Why does it seem impossible to abolish this useless board?

insider
0
Points
insider 11/26/08 - 08:24 am
0
0
Ms.Jenkins, thank you for

Ms.Jenkins, thank you for standing up to this jerk. It seems as if some board members and other political persons are afraid to tell this scammmer to hit the road. Why is he trying to force himself on the Coliseum Authority? Probably because he feels the members can be easily manipulated. Mr. Dickerson is a crook and those who are in favor of this should be ashamed of doing"political favors". Mr. Dickerson is telling everyone how the Mayor and the Legislative Delegation wants him in place - If this is true - then why don't they hire him as a consultant? Probably because they want the Coliseum Authority to be used as scape goats. BOARD MEMBERS- Follow the lead of Ms. Jenkins and kick this scam artist out of town!!!!! Again Thank you Ms. Jenkins.

getalife
4
Points
getalife 11/26/08 - 08:25 am
0
0
This board needs to be

This board needs to be abolished before they make another mistake and spend millions of dollars of taxpayer's money. None of these people should be the ones to decide to spend any money. Augusta-Richmond County needs to get out of the entainment business, as the Coliseum Authority has entertained us enough!!

whatsupwiththat
1
Points
whatsupwiththat 11/26/08 - 09:03 am
0
0
Pack his bags and send his

Pack his bags and send his backside back to Atlanta!

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 11/26/08 - 09:30 am
0
0
Give the coliseum to Augusta

Give the coliseum to Augusta State University for basketball and whatever else they want to do with it.

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 11/26/08 - 10:19 am
0
0
Jerry Dickerson is a

Jerry Dickerson is a pitchman, a snake oil salesman, a schemer, a scammer, a taker. Thank you, Janice Jenkins and Richard Isdell, for holding back the tide of this toxic contract.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 11/26/08 - 10:32 am
0
0
Sounds to me like this guy

Sounds to me like this guy would fit right in with the leadership of the colliseum and the city. I don't understand the concerns about building a multi-million dollar facility, haven't the board members looked at the rosy economy? These folks need only look at the city commission to realize that Augusta is booming and people want and deserve EVERYTHING right now, regardless of cost!!

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