Perhaps it's the answer one might expect from a politician.

But Mayor Brad Hart says not to blame the City of Cedar Rapids for the failings of the "Newbo Evolve" festival that left $2.3 million in unpaid bills and closed Go Cedar Rapids, the local visitors and convention bureau.

In an interview with Beth Malicki of KCRG, Mayor Hart admitted that two city officials were part of the GO Cedar Rapids board that was to provide oversight to reduce the risk of failure. Hart explained that their roles on the board were separate from their duties with the city and that Go Cedar Rapids and the City of Cedar Rapids are two separate entities.

But Hart defended the City's private meetings with GO Cedar Rapids that everyone hoped could provide a way out of this mess. Those meetings led the City to conclude it would not "bail out" the non-profit's organization, leaving many local vendors unpaid for their services.

It's a raw deal all the way around, and no one is stepping up to claim responsibility or to make things right.

Not even the Mayor.

Politics as usual.

[source: KCRG]

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