Page 15


TEXAS’ LEADING BUMPERSTRIP SIGN MAKER IFFUTURA PRESS .”, Hickory 2-8682 Hickory 2-2426 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS AVENUE P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS MISSISSIPPI FREELANCE A New Statewide Monthly Newspaper Reporting the Otherwise Unreported bright/ambitious/candid/independent 12 issues$4 Box 836, Greenville, Miss. 38701 The holdover SBA chief, New York industrialist Howard Samuels, meanwhile, had built his own lobby, seeking to remain in office. Several congressmen, mostly Democrats, made discreet recommendations to the White House that Samuels be kept. Nixon, suspecting that Samuels wanted to stay on at SBA to strengthen his position for a race against New York’s Republican Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, was not impressed. Instead he belatedly went with Sando val, announcing his appointment routinely with 14 others on Feb. 21. The press release accompanying the announcement was quite brief. In the period of turmoil, it seems, the White House press office had lost Sandoval’s biography. B.H. Checking HemisFair’s Figures San Antonio, Austin The companies that operated HemisFair ’68 spent seven and a half million dollars more than they took in, apart from the state and federal monies involved. The U.S. and Texas pavilions were financed with tax money, but are still the property of the respective governments. The fair was laid out on downtown San Antonio land which was cleared and made available through federal urban renewal, the fair getting priority over low-cost housing developments that are needed elsewhere in the city. The city of San Antonio has been given “items” of the fair’s perSonal property in settlement of more than half a million dollars of bills due, and contractors have sued the fair for more payment than they have received in connection with certain contracts. The combined financial statement of San Antonio Fair, Inc., and Fair Syndicate, Inc., through 1968, has been provided the Observer by leave of H. B. Zachry, who was head of the fair. The two companies, both non-profit firms, took in $18 million and spent $25.5 million. The exact operating deficit was $7,432,610.67. The budget for 1968, the year of the fair, overestimated revenues $5.9 million and underestimated spending $1.5 million. The basic cause was that not as many people attended as predicted. For every eight who were expected, only seven came. Underwriters are expected to make up $5.3 million of the deficit. They have been put down for this total sum in the tabulation of the “realization and liquidation” of the operating deficit. As, however, a note in the audit explains, the $5.3 million is what was “deemed collectible by the management of the Fair” and does not necessarily represent the total amount “recoverable under the subscription agreements.” This leaves more than $2 million to account for. Almost a third of this is “ticket sales to contractors,” that is, $643,000 as the value of tickets to the fair presumably accepted in lieu of cash by contractors who did work for the fair. “Compromises” with contractors and suppliers account for another $155,000, and contractors’ and suppliers’ contributions to the underwriting are listed at $693,000. However, to both these items the accountants appended a note that San Antonio Fair, Inc., “is contingently liable in connection with certain suits” for $859,000 arising out of “certain construc tion contract settlements.” The note also says that “certain mechanics, materialmen, contractors, and subcontractors” have filed liens aggregating $1.6 million against San Antonio Fair, Inc., or the fair and the city of San Antonio jointly. In the opinion of the fair’s lawyers, the fair, having executed “settlements from all parties involved,” has no liability in these suits and liens. The ticket sales, compromises, and underwriting contributions involving contractors total $1.5 million. The Observer has been told by San Antonians that there has been a quantity of bitterness against the fair by some of the contractors who are not satisfied with settlements they have received. There is some suspicion that those who do not accept part of the burden of the fair’s situation may not stand so well with the city’s business in-group in the future. These reports are of course subjective and of indeterminable validity. The city of San Antonio accounts for the rest of the operating deficit, in the sum of $590,000, in the following manner: San Antonio Fair, Inc., conveyed to the city all its personal property “in satisfaction of amounts due” to the city, the city water board, and the city public service board. The city has determined the fair market value of these assets to be $150,000 less than the $590,000 the fair says they are worth. The fair’s lawyer believes that regardless of the valuation finally accepted, “the liability is discharged.” What were these assets the city received in payment of bills due? The Observer asked Angus Cockrell, partner in the firm which audited the fair, this question, and he replied that they were “items needed by the city agencies,” and “are all being used.” He said the city and its agencies got the items at “a substantial savings,” and he declared, “None of the losses of the fair were absorbed by any public agencies.” Cockrell, in a letter to the Observer was touchy about calling the fair’s deficit a loss. He called it “the so-called ‘loss’ of $7,400,000” and said that in evaluating it, one must consider that all permanent structures built by the fair have become city property, as agreed from the first. The city also built up “credits in terms of millions which can be used to defer the city’s cost in future urban renewal projects, which we sorely need,” Cockrell wrote. In addition, Cockrell said the area’s “national image . . . was enormously enhanced,” and “the speed with which all underwriters paid off” indicates their enthusiasm about the “over-all results of the operation.” Of course, much more money was spent by the fair-goers in San Antonio than they spent on the fairgrounds. “The only event of this nature which has shown any profit was the Seattle event,” Cockrell said. “I am sure you are aware of the fantastic premeditated losses absorbed in the operation of the New York World’s Fair and Expo ’67. Comparing these operations with ours would indicate that we did a remarkable job of staging a very expensive event at a minimal cost.” In fact, the Observer had been ignorant of the premeditation of losses in the two fairs mentioned, and had a rather strong impression, from reading the New York Times during the duration of the New York World’s Fair, that its planners did not premeditate with as much accuracy as many of that city’s most potent citizens thought they should have. Presenting the audit of the two firms in San Antonio, Cockrell said of the operating deficit, “Not a cent of it was tax money.” Zachry commented, “We are even with the world as far as our assets and liabilities are concerned.” March 28, 1969 9 Personal Service Quality Insurance Alice Anderson”Bow” Williams INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin. Texas 465-6577