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Interview with HSVPOA Chair Omohundro

By Cheryl Dowden, March 14, 2021

HSVPOA/Greg Jones Restaurant Contracts

Tucker, thank you for your willingness to address some of the community’s concerns. As you are probably aware, there has been a lot of speculation online about three of the HSVPOA restaurants: DeSoto, Isabella, and Granada. We have been made aware that there are three new contractual lease agreements between the HSVPOA and Greg Jones of Xplore Restaurant Group, LLC.

Note: My questions are in black and Tucker’s responses are in purple.

Can you share with us the length of the leases?

Chair Omohundro: The leases are for three years, but if Mr. Jones decides to break the lease with any restaurant, we have the ability to take them all back at our discretion.

Does the HSVPOA have a standard restaurant lease agreement and if so, was this the contract used? If not, why not?

Chair Omohundro: Yes, but due to some exceptions as mentioned above, we had attorneys to review and approve the lease.

What prompted the POA to take this path?

Chair Omohundro: This has been thought about for a while.  It did get delayed because Charles King wanted to do his best to bring down the subsidy to a reasonable expense.  Our subsidy for food and beverage last year was over $800,000.  Greg Jones contacted us shortly after Mr King resigned and asked if he could meet with us.  His proposal was to take over all POA operated restaurants.  This did not include the ones that are currently leased.  The board asked John Paul to research this proposal and bring the board his recommendations.  

Was this a decision that was made solely by Interim General Manager John Paul, or was a Board vote taken?

Chair Omohundro: Answered above with one exception.  The board did vote on this.  The vote passed 4-1.  Kirk Denger voted against.  

If a Board vote was taken, did the Board take into consideration the fact that five Board seats are due to be filled in the upcoming election and these electees will be seated in April?

Chair Omohundro: We did.  All board candidates were invited to the executive session and heard John Paul’s presentation along with the board.  We did this because we wanted their input as possible future board members.  Before they were excused from the meeting, I asked each one of the board member candidates, excluding the current board members, if they were in agreement with us moving forward.  They all said they were.

Can you give us a ball-park figure on how much money the POA anticipates saving with Greg Jones running the three restaurants and also, what are some of the areas where savings will be realized other than the obvious savings of payroll, utilities, etc?

Chair Omohundro: If Mr. Jones can be successful with these restaurants we should save $500,000 to $600,000 a year vs last year.  

Can you share any further details of the lease contract with us at this time?

Chair Omohundro: The lease requires Mr. Jones to pay all utilities.  (Electric, water, sewer and  sanitation)  The POA will pay taxes, insurance, up keep of the buildings and equipment that exist at this time.  

How do you anticipate this contract with Greg Jones helping the Village continue to move forward in a positive manner?

Chair Omohundro: The board and the GM’s goal is and has been to cut our expenses.  We cut approximately $700,000 in payroll alone within the first couple of months.  Unfortunately with minimum wage increases ($500,000)  and insurance increases ($670,000) those savings did not show in the budget.  The list of savings is growing quickly.  

Is there anything else you would like to share with the community?

Chair Omohundro: Yes I would like to explain how decisions like this can not be discussed with the members as we try to do where we can.  When employee jobs are involved in board decisions it should be confidential until a final decision is made.  Unfortunately, shortly after Greg’s board presentation it was leaked to the public.  The food and beverage manager resigned because of this.  I think many can understand the issues we could have, if we handled this any different.  Sometimes you actually have to rely on the people you voted in to make these decisions.  

Thank you again, Tucker, for your transparency in sharing your thoughts and some of the details of this agreement with the community.

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Click here to read the HSVPOA/Jones Contract Announcement.

Click here to read the Greg Jones Interview.

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