DETROIT (CBS Detroit) How much is that Monet in the window? The people who make decisions like that, curating the world-renowned collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts, are at the center of controversy over compensation packages.
Outgoing director Graham Beal, who successfully pleaded the case for a regional tax to support the DIA in 2012 and helped the museum weather the city’s bankruptcy without losing its “jewels,” is in line for a whopping exit paycheck.READ MORE: The Detroit Zoo To Host Its Final Weekend Of Family-Friendly Halloween Event 'Zoo Boo' Oct. 22-24
A total compensation package of $625,185 is being prepared for the departing Beal and executives Annemarie Erickson and Robert Bowen, according to the Detroit News. Taxpayers would foot $49,000 of the bill, with the rest coming from private donors.
The controversy over Detroit Institute of Arts pay raises and bonuses surfaced at today’s meeting of the Oakland County Art Authority, one of three county boards that oversee the use of public money for the museum.
Oakland County Commissioner John Scott told the board he will introduce a resolution against it.
“We’re not happy, we don’t want to see these raises go through,” Scott said. “There’s private money and public money.”READ MORE: Tillson Street's Halloween Displays Draws Thousands
Museum chairman Gene Gargaro said the base pay raises are provided by tax money, but the bonuses are covered by specific donations. “In spite of financial calamity, in spite of bankruptcy, we’re still standing and these wonderful people were the reason, in large part, for that happening,” he said.
Scott questioned whether even the private donor money should be used to pay personnel.
“Ask the donors to give you money to fund the DIA, I don’t think they planned it for raises and bonuses, I think they thought you could go out and buy more exhibits and bring art home,” Scott said.
The resolution against the raises could be introduced next month.MORE NEWS: Kalamazoo Tests For Lead Exposure Following High-Lead Level Reports In Other Michigan Cities