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Local restaurant owner's statement on the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership

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Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 5:52 pm

Michael Warren, owner of Crush Kitchen + Bar and the Market at Crush, resigned from the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership on Wednesday, and e-mailed a statement to the News-Sentinel. Below is the full version:

As of this morning, May 11th, I have submitted my resignation from my position as a DLBP board member. I am fundamentally at odds with the policies and practices of the organization and given the events that have transpired I feel I'm not able to be effective in my current position.

Everything that I have done, I have done in service of the public. I have not partaken in any "gossip, speculation or innuendo about the board members or civic leaders", as insinuated by Nancy Byer-Hauan, but have simply offered the public an opportunity to view what should be in the public record already. It is entirely inappropriate to demand a pledge which furthers the ‘secret society' that current and former board members have fostered. Offering the community facts so that they can help shape the direction of the organization is what I view as one of

my primary objectives as a board member. It has never been about personal vendettas.

I have greatly enjoyed my brief time in service to my community and I want to thank my fellow business owners for electing me to this position. It is with deep regret

that I was unable to reconcile with my fellow board members in order to provide the transparency that is required to bring trust and faith back to the organization.

In the wake of these events I can only hope that the city and my fellow business owners that fund the DLBP demand to know where their hard earned money is being spent. The executive director currently performs nearly all financial and accounting transactions with very limited oversight - the DLBP needs to either provide for appropriate segregation of duties with an outside organization or full

transparency needs to be offered to the public.

For an organization that purports to serve the public, with public funds, the board members should display a much higher degree of personal accountability and

integrity. As a business owner I will continue to work with the community to enforce accountability from the DLBP.