Councilman questions Riviera festival figure

RIVIERA BEACH City council Chairman Cedrick Thomas, at an afternoon news conference Friday, challenged the mayor's claim that this year's eighth annual music festival suffered $300,000 in losses.

Flanked by council members Dawn Pardo and Shelby Lowe, Thomas addressed the media in the city hall lobby and called the mayor's comments "premature." At Wednesday's council meeting, Mayor Thomas Masters said he could no longer support the three-day festival because it continues to lose money and consumes too much staff time.

Thomas countered Friday that the staff had yet to compile any results on the event. He gave no timetable for when the city planned to issue a report.

"To date, no official statistics or numbers have been released on the attendance or revenue generated ... as we are still in the process of compiling results on ticket sales, vendor participation and a tremendous amount of monetary and in-kind sponsorship," Thomas said in a prepared statement read to the media.

Contacted after the news conference, Masters stood by his statement and said the numbers, once released, will support his conclusion.

"I made my statement based upon the information I received," said Masters, who didn't identify who gave him the $300,000 figure. "I cannot defend this event when it's operating at a deficit and not making money for the city."