Rialto Board Chairman James V. Smith was contacted by Mr. Bergman who indicated his interest in funding the marquee project. A meeting took place on Tuesday, Jan. 20, with Mr. Smith, Randy Green, Rialto general manager, and Mr. Bergman, at which time he presented his interest and stipulations for the gift. On Wednesday evening, Jan. 21, [Will County Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium] Authority and [Rialto Square Theatre] Foundation board leaders met to discuss Mr. Bergman’s request and stipulations.
Board leadership stated that proper public review needed to occur with a full transparent process with public input. We asked Mr. Bergman to allow us time to follow this public process. He stated he would not accept that process and he then indicated that he would withdraw his gift. Mr. Bergman was insistent that this transaction occur quickly and with little time for the community to react. The leadership of both boards in good conscience could not accept his gift knowing that there needed to be a transparent process.
At no time was his gift rejected. We could not accept his gift with the stipulations he set forth to receive his donation. We asked Mr. Bergman if we could revisit his interest to fund the new marquee following the public review process of the marquee design. Mr. Bergman said, “You can present me the final marquee design, but it is unlikely I will make a gift.”
We are indeed saddened that we could not accept his gift with his terms.
James V. Smith
WCMEAA Board Chairman
Tricia L. Simpson