A week ago westmuse broke the news about the Napa Valley Museum. There have been further developments and Executive Director Rick Deragon has provided the following, important update:
The Napa Valley Museum Takes on State
by Rick Deragon, Executive Director
Napa Valley Museum
The State Departments of Veterans Affairs and General Services are attempting to throw us out of our building constructed with community donations in the mid-1990s. The State believes the Napa Valley Museum did not comply with the terms of the long-term lease. The State believes we are now operating with a month-to-month tenancy. We believe the termination was ineffective and wrongly executed, and therefore we still have a valid lease. In early March, the State gave us a 30-day eviction notice, but on the 29th day, they sent a Notice f Rescission of the Notice to Vacate. We now have until October 15 to resolve the issue.
The Napa Valley Museum asserts that we are currently in compliance with the original lease, having paid all past amounts due. We operate in a building constructed with 2.3 million dollars from the community.
It was, in fact, the museum, in 2006, that brought the lease issue to the attention of the State. State then took 13 months to reply to us. Before the requested meeting could take place, the State issued its Termination of Lease. The museum did not have a chance to adequately discuss its lease situation.
The museum has a vital exhibition schedule of art and history dislays, as well as an educational outreach program to the elementary and middle schools of the Napa Valley, touching the lives of 5000 kids annually. We supplement exhibitions with special programs, lectures and workshops. We have been serving the community since 1973.
I encourage empathetic persons to call or fax representatives. Perhaps the Department of Veterans Affairs would drop this if there were a hue and cry.
Sen. Pat Wiggins
Rep. Mike Thompson
Noreen Evans, State Assembly
Sen Diane Feinstein
Sen Barbara Boxer
Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs
Your noisy support is greatly appreciated!
[Rick, Here at the Western Museums Association we care. We are here to help you garner support from others, including Paulette Hennum from Parks & Rec, who has already commented on the previous post here. Keep up the GOOD work!]