MONTROSE – Starting this month, several Montrose city-funded nonprofits are no longer on annual contracts, but are being funded on a month-to-month basis.
As the annual contracts ran out, the city adopted the temporary monthly arrangement to give a “restructuring” committee more time to decide the fate of three agencies: the Montrose Chamber, the Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Montrose Area Merchants Association, or MAMA.
The whole idea is to save money and be more efficient, said City Councilmember Erica Lewis Kennedy.
Kennedy, also a member of the restructuring committee, said the agencies most likely would be reorganized under the chamber umbrella. Another “economic driver” agency, the Montrose Economic Development Council, will probably be treated separately, she said.
The restructuring committee missed a Dec. 31 deadline to come up with a plan for the agencies. Now the committee’s work has no deadline, she said, because with separate city agreements with each of the agencies, “the issues are complicated.”
But the eventual shake up of the agencies has some employees worried about their jobs.
Juli Messenger, executive director of MAMA, said “nothing lasts forever,” but agreed that the restructuring should not be rushed, but done right, even though she and other employees don’t know whether they’ll have jobs in the future.
“We’re doing the job as long as it’s here, but there is a feeling of uncertainty,” she said. “It’s really no different from any other day, but it feels a little different.”
The idea for restructuring the organizations began with results of surveys conducted last year that recommended restructuring the nonprofits.
“The reason we’re going month to month is trying to protect all those involved,” Kennedy said. “The new organization will be a rearrangement of everything.”
The city has a separate contract with MEDC, no contract with the chamber, but a month-to-month contract with the VCB to operate under chamber auspices, she said.
Kennedy said she doesn’t know what that means in terms of job security for the employees of the three agencies.
“I have no idea if anyone will lose their job,” she said. “It’s not about looking at any position or any one person, but the whole idea is to do what’s best for the entire Montrose community and the best use of tax dollars for all parties involved.”