Organizer’s statement on the situation around Advent in České Budějovice
Two months after the advent markets, the city council decided to charge us as the organizer of Ceske Budejovice advent for parking spaces on the square at the time of the markets, even though it did not do so in previous years. It is about 300 thousand crowns. We resist this decision and consider it a breach of contract, discrimination and a threat to the appearance of the Advent markets.
Advent markets in České Budějovice win nationwide polls, praised by citizens and the media, and have great success beyond the region. We would be expecting a discussion on how to improve the markets together with the city, perhaps we also hoped to thank the city. Instead, we are charging parking fees.
First, according to our legal analysis, the city charges us these fees unjustifiably, in direct violation of the contract.
Secondly, we have never paid these fees in the past, have never been calculated, and have never been reminded of them. Therefore, we were surprised that the city charged us at all, because in an agreement drawn up with the city, the city undertakes that we have a space for technical advent and there is no mention that these places were for consideration.
We invest large amounts in Advent markets – the design and operation of the ice rink, lighting fixtures, investment in the atmosphere, a richer program, and more beyond what the treaty obliges us to do. The contribution we receive from the city does not cover the costs of skating rinks, which are 2.5 million crowns per year. If we knew from the outset that the city would require us to pay for these places, we would direct these investments instead of the skating rink into parking.
All other requests for waiver were granted, while our request was the only one that was rejected. It is a different approach of the city to different subjects and the fact bullying approach of the city to the event organizer.
The price for the switchboard rental has been fixed in the tender specifications and this price must be maintained for the entire duration of the contract. This time the city charged us more than three times the originally agreed price. Of course, we warned the city that this step was unjustified and that there was a breach of contract. The city subsequently remedied and now misrepresents it as a discount. The discount was not in any way, for this year we paid for switchboards about 250tis. crowns, as in previous years.
OUR PERCEPTION OF THE CASE
We perceive the whole case rather as a personal dispute by Deputy Juraj Thoma with our agency. We had a seamless relationship with the city in previous years, accommodating our efforts to push advent markets to a better level. With the accession of Mr. Juraj Thoma to the post of Deputy for Culture, everything turned and instead of cooperation we feel bullying and personal resentment.
We hope that there will be further negotiations with the city management and the possibility of finding a solution. We feel right.