Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Overture staffing model causes debate

In an effort to decide the Overture Center's fate, representatives from the non-profit arm of the Overture Cente presented staffing model research for the Overture Ad Hoc committee Thursday.

Human Resources Director Brad Wirtz and Compensation and Benefits Manager Mike Lipski offered various scenarios or ""models"" for the committee.

The Focused Model is the main model under review, which suggests public ownership and private non-profit operation. Other models studied included private ownership and operation or public ownership and operation.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

Today, a private development corporation owns the Overture while a non-profit corporation operates the center. This is a variation of a private-private model, according to committee chair Mark Bugher.

Committee member and former mayor Paul Soglin expressed his concerns with the focused model.

""If this fails, and it will, the non-profit can walk and the city's now stuck with the bill,"" Soglin said.

Other committee members see public ownership as a way out of the Overture's debt.

""The 200-pound gorilla at the Overture is the debt. If there a chance to get the debt behind us, we can't afford to turn our backs on that,"" committee member Warren Onken said.

The focused model has ""merits and issues,"" Bugher said. ""Time is of the essence.""

The chairman's biggest concern is the focused model accounts for many privately funded gifts. Philanthropy is often less certain than something like tax levies, according to Bugher.

Some community members voiced concerns about the quality of the research.  Madison resident Denise St. Claire called for more detailed research along with in-depth methodology. St. Claire, among others, questioned whether one set of research should help form a decision.

""Are all the questions being answering by one source? I want the best and strongest information,"" St. Claire said.

A decision on the model must be made by October 13 and the committee will meet two more times before submitting a report or recommendation to the Common Council in October.


Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Cardinal