Peekskill Officials Receive Bids for Paramount Management, Chamber Wants More Input

Peekskill officials announced three bids have come in for operation of the Paramount Center for the Arts. Deb Milone, director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, believes the chamber should be part of the review process.

As Peekskill officials continue to move forward with their search for a new management team at the Paramount Center for the Arts, members of the business community are expressing frustration over their lack of input.

Officials have received three proposals to manage the Paramount, which closed earlier this year due to financial difficulties. The deadline to submit proposals was Wednesday and the interested parties are expected to give their presentations and be interviewed on Jan. 7.

The final selection is scheduled for Jan. 14.

Bob Knight, a spokesman for the City of Peekskill said the city will reveal who submitted the proposals—possibly as soon as next week.

Deb Milone, executive director of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce, sent out a letter earlier this week expressing disappointment that the chamber, which represents 440 businesses in the area, was left off the review committee for the Paramount’s next operator. The letter can be read here.

“We have learned informally that the Peekskill BID Director has been appointed to the review committee and we agree, Jason Angell, is a good choice and will represent the best interests of the Downtown,” Milone wrote. “But this "downtown Peekskill only" way of moving forward is short-sighted when it comes to business and is one reason for the Paramount's closure.  The Paramount must be viewed within the context of being a regional attraction.”

Knight acknowledged that the chambers is an important and deeply respected voice for area businesses. But he said Mayor Mary Foster felt the Chamber’s close ties to the Paramount’s former operator might compromise their ability to bring a fresh approach to the project.

“Once the new operator is named, the City looks forward to collaborating with the Chamber and other groups to further Peekskill’s economic growth,” Knight wrote in a statement.

Milone said the Chamber is a non-political independent entity that advocates for business.

"We care very much about the future of the Paramount Center for the Arts and believe we can help ensure its success," Milone wrote in a response. “We remain disappointed in the City’s decision to exclude the largest business association in the region from the committee, a committee whose make-up still has not been made public.”

A copy of the city’s request for proposal can be found in the PDF attached to this story.

leesther brown December 21, 2012 at 07:13 PM
@Joshua...You have hit the nail on the head....I don't know for sure who Peekskill Business is...!! :)..but it ain't hard to tell!!...#thedevilisaliar..
Frank a Catalina December 21, 2012 at 10:41 PM
to peekskill business: 1. you have the right to your opinion but not your own facts. 2. if you dont have the courage to 'sign' your name to your post, you really dont, IMHO have the right to even post. are you so embittered that you think retalitatory action would be taken against you for publishing your heartfelt opinion? and commenting on milones tenure is a cheap cowards shot not worthy of print absent a face behind it. 3. i dont think saying the mayor and her subjects are wrong in excluding the overall business community from this, is 'attacking' them. i questioned the real reason; whether the council members really feel the way the PR man spun the response; and if so, what EXACTLY are they talking about and when did they come to that conclusion. maybe uncomfortable questions (asking anyone to explain a bad decision usually is) but not an 'attack'. 4. getting back to #1, about your 'facts', first its "kelly" not "kelley". second, nobody tore down a historic building... and i have a federal judges opinion on that issue as well as setting forth exactly what that administration did. feel free to stop by my office and read all about it anytime you want... BTW, you wont miss my building, its the only one with lights "on" on this previously beautifully lit "broadway-like" block..... the one that used to have hundreds of people walking around every weekend spilling foot traffic onto restaurant row that is now like a ghost-town. have a nice weekend.
Francis T McVetty December 24, 2012 at 09:15 PM
There we go again, letting the "government" get involved with something they know very little about, PRIVATE BUSINESS. You can see how that has turned out with green energy.
R Rice December 26, 2012 at 09:00 PM
In that it is a completely amiguous grouping of english language "words," with no real definition, I guess you could say it is true. Other than that, I think it's "newspeak" for "we who have no fiscal obligation, want our say too..."
john simon December 30, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Its just a shame the paramount could not get the money needed to keep the place going.


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