The Montrose mayor and Montrose Summer Music Series founder Dave Bowman said Tuesday his endorsement of the MSMS during the end of city council meetings doesn’t constitute a conflict of interest.
Bowman said this referring to recent Facebook posts. Those posts stated the mayor cannot promote his music series on the dais as it pertains to his business.
Bowman countered saying that the MSMS is free to the public, and his position gets paid the fixed rate of $3,200. For his part, he said his job — which is the only paid role — is to help raise money, book bands and run the event.
“It doesn’t matter how many people come to the event. I get paid the same amount of money,” Bowman said. “But we work very, very hard to bring in a big audience for our sponsors so they get the advertising that they’re paying for.”
The MSMS is a free event held the first Friday of the month from June-September at the Black Canyon Golf Course.
Bowman estimated about $40,000 a year is generated through the MSMS, adding about $10,000 is needed to hold one show. That budget mostly comes from sponsorship which has levels of $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000. Food vendors, which are currently the only ones set up at the music series, pay $75, he added.
The Montrose Summer Music Series is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Its treasurer supervises the budget, and the board has a yearly audit, Bowman said.
He stressed he doesn’t earn a cent from the majority of the shows he puts on.
Bowman said he’s helping put on 13 different music shows this summer with only one of them being a paid event. That show is for Dave Stamey — which costs $25 — on July 18 at the Montrose Elks Lodge.
Although he’ll be compensated for the MSMS, he said he’ll get paid “absolutely nothing” for holding Acoustic Tuesdays at Pocket Park and FUNC Fest.
“I’ve begun to notice lately that anything that I touch that has to do with music, all of a sudden, people seem to think that I’m making money off of,” Bowman said, adding he hasn’t seen any resident complain about promoting the music series at the city council meetings.
The only complaint concerned noise levels, he said. That won’t happen in the near future as the MSMS will move to the amphitheater at Cerise Park, which isn’t near residential areas, Bowman said.
Additionally, other Facebook posts assert the City of Montrose is profiting from the concerts since they are held at the city-run golf course. Bowman said the city pays a $5,000 sponsorship fee and provides the portable restaurants. But the MSMS pays the same amount as other organizations that rent the Black Canyon Golf Course.
“We’re charged just like anybody else,” Bowman said.
He did stress that he’s enjoyed holding the Montrose Summer Music Series, indicating residents do too because the concerts keep going strong.
“I’m happy to do this. I’ve done music events, mainly for free, for nearly 20 years in this town. … I think the community enjoys these events; the support is overwhelming,” he said.
Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.