Monterey Maritime and History Museum Director seeks early exit from her job.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Museum Director Pam Crowe-Weisberg, who joined the staff in late 2009 and has overseen the year-long closure and ongoing revamp of the troubled institution, is reportedly in negotiations with the Monterey History and Art Association Board, which runs the museum, for an early exit before the March 31 expiration of her contract.
A source who insisted on anonymity says Crowe-Weisberg, who is currently on medical leave, is seeking about $25,000—roughly the amount she would earn if she worked until her contract was up—because she believes that conflict between her and the board makes it impossible for her to do her job.
Last year, the Monterey City Council, which leases the museum property to MHAA for $1 a year on the condition it remain open, granted permission for a one-year shutdown so that it could modernize and update its decades-old exhibits.
But in late December, MHAA officials appeared before the council to give an account of its financial status and request an extension to re-open on April 15. The organization, which has been plagued recently by frequent turnover on the board, had long been on shaky financial footing, having chipped away at its endowment for years to fund day-to-day operations.
The City Council could evict the museum if it doesn't make it's April 15 re-opening deadline, but city officials have said the last thing they need is another empty downtown building.
"They've got new board members. They've got lots of stories to tell and new artifacts," says City Councilwoman Nancy Selfridge. "I hope the new board will do a lot of fundraising so they can re-open April 15." But Selfridge says the group's finances still look troubled, in part because they've had to replenish the MHAA endowment.And, she says, the MHAA financial report provided no definitive answers for the council.
"They presented unaudited financials to us. Because they were unaudited, there's no way to check anything," Selfridge says.