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Another year for St. John’s Sports and Entertainment chair

Mile One Centre.
Mile One Centre.

The City of St. John’s is looking for two new members for the board of directors of St. John’s Sports and Entertainment (SJSE). Council has also extended board chair Bob Verge’s board appointment, in a unanimous decision Tuesday.

Board members Derek Sturge and Steve Sparkes wrapped up their terms, Coun. Sandy Hickman said at the regular council meeting at city hall. Hickman is the city’s representative on the SJSE board.

A search is now on for new appointees to the board — responsible for the operation of Mile One Centre and the St. John’s Convention Centre.

The chair’s term also expired at the end of May, but Hickman said the city was interested in having Verge stay on at least another year, to help sort out some of the challenges currently facing the organization.

“Mr. Verge has been an excellent chair and is very committed, very interested,” Hickman said.

He noted the ongoing hunt for an anchor tenant at Mile One Centre, with the loss of AHL hockey, an ongoing review of the convention centre service contract and a structural review of the SJSE organization by city hall.

And then there is a separate, financial audit by the city’s internal auditor, reviewing so-far unexplained discrepancies in SJSE’s books.

“We need to determine whether it was clerical, administrative, bookkeeping or potentially, no question, it could be a legal matter,” Hickman said in response to questions from reporters following the meeting. He added he would expect any details be kept confidential while the work is ongoing.

Hickman said, given his knowledge of operations, contracting and the general purview of SJSE, Verge is in a position to settle the ongoing concerns.

Regarding the ongoing work by the city auditor, Coun. Art Puddister asked for the matter to be brought to police now, before the internal work is concluded.

Hickman said it was one man’s opinion, and he believes the work by the city is required before the police are given the file.


St. John’s Sports and Entertainment board

Bob Verge (chair)

Christine Clouston

Gay Lynn Lambert

Cathy Duke

Sandy Hickman

Kevin Breen

Derek Coffey

Derek Sturge

Steve Sparkes

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