A local neighborhood council approved $1,015 in expenses at a special meeting Wednesday for an event that never happened.
The North Westwood Neighborhood council first announced “Next Friday,” a monthly event intended to highlight businesses in Westwood, at its January meeting. The first event was initially set for March 8, but was later moved to April 12. On the day of the event, however, the city still had not approved permits required for the event to occur.
The event, planned to be hosted at Broxton Brewery, never happened, but the council still incurred expenses for several services, including the design and print of a banner to promote the event, permits for the event from the city and required insurance for the permits.
Members of the council said the wasted expenses were an embarrassment and failure of the council.
Amir Tarighat, treasurer of the council and owner of WV Investments, said the way the council planned the event was a mistake.
“This was an absolutely horrible, incorrect, inappropriate process and use of money,” Tarighat said.
Tarighat said council members committed to payments and hired people for services without board approval.
“All of this money was a waste. We just wasted a thousand dollars,” Tarighat added.
Melissa Tapia, standing chair of the Community Activities and Projects Committee and a third-year political science student, said the city could not approve the event because the neighborhood council did not complete requirements set by the city, including getting approval of the event from the NWWNC and submitting a budget by the required deadline.
Councilmember Kevin Crummy said the council’s blunder was a waste of tax dollars.
“This is super embarrassing,” Crummy said. “This is money that’s coming from all of our taxes, and we just wasted it.”
Michael Skiles, president of the council, said Christian Green, the former chair of the Community Activities and Projects Committee, resigned from the council recently due to a personal matter, which limited his ability to correspond with the council in a timely manner on this project.
Tapia said she was unable to reschedule the event to another date because she is not intending to run for the council election Thursday, and cannot make decisions for a council she will no longer be a part of.
Skiles added the council should learn from the mistakes made planning the event, and in the future approve all projects at least three months prior.