By Linh Nguyen / Nguoi VietWESTMISTER, Calif.

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(NV) ― Just days after negotiations with the city of Garden Grove broke down over the năm trước Tet Festival, organizers vowed the event would go on early next year.Tet Festival organizers students “Happy New Year”, 2014. (Photo: Linh Nguyen / Nguoi Viet)
“We hope to lớn announce the location of the Tet Festival in a few days, but certainly not the specific location in Garden Grove Park,” said Billy Le, chief organizer of the Union of the Vietnamese Student Association of Southern California UVSA, in a weekend news conference. He reiterated that the negotiations were called off because his group refused “unreasonable demands” put forth by the city.“For nearly 12 years, UVSA paid for the Tet Festival to be held in the city of Garden Grove as requested, but the đô thị is increasingly more demanding,” Le said, adding it was “too much.”UVSA first paid $5,000 to help pay đô thị costs. By 2008, Le said, the contract had risen to $55,000, then went up to lớn $66,000 the following year. In 2011, the UVSA paid about $40,000.Now, the thành phố is requiring a $145,000 payment for the three-day event, scheduled to lớn start Jan. 31, Le said. Billy Le, head of the organizing committee, during the presentation. (Photo: Linh Nguyen / Nguoi Viet)Among the participants at the news conference were members of the Garden Grove city Council, Chris Phan & Kris Beard, along with those who have worked closely with UVSA to stage the event.“I speak as an individual, not a councilor,” Phan said. “I’d love to see UVSA hold the annual Tet Festival in Garden Grove.” Still, he said he recognized that thành phố cannot afford to lớn subsidize the costs.“There is still a way lớn solve it,” he said. “However, organizations can’t use taxpayers’ money.”Residents talk to lớn Councilman Chris Phan.

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(Photo: Linh Nguyen / The Vietnam)Le used the news conference to discuss the negotiation process. He said that in the first contract proposal, the đô thị agreed to lớn charge a $50,000 fee but required the organizers charge an additional $1 per ticket at the door, plus make a contribution of $75,000 khổng lồ the planned Vietnam War Museum of America. Mayor Bruce Broadwater and Councilwoman Dina Nguyen are board members of that group. Additionally, UVSA was asked to pay $10,000 lớn the Garden Grove Community Foundation.Chart show costs Tet Festival organizers paid for Garden Grove City, from 2007 lớn 2013. (Photo: Linh Nguyen / Nguoi Viet)Le called a $135,000 fee lớn hold the festival “absurd.” He said the student-run organization could have paid $105,000 but no more.An additional sticking point between the two sides has been UVSA’s accounting procedures, which the đô thị has called substandard. Councilwoman Kris Beard aid the đô thị must see the relevant records và the students must agree to lớn pay a higher fee to cover thành phố costs relating lớn the festival.“This figure is not unfounded,” Beard said. “Second is the issue of the financial records. UVSA needs khổng lồ be more transparent.”She added that “Garden Grove wants the Tet Festival & UVSA to return someday.”Helen Nguyen, treasurer of UVSA, said she saw things differently.Helen Nguyen (right), treasurer, answered questions about the books. (Photo: Linh Nguyen / Nguoi Viet)“I organized the Tet Festival the past two years,” she said, also refuting the suggestion that UVSA doesn’t pay its bills.Although a place lớn hold Tet Festival has not yet been announced, UVSA is accepting inquiries from those who want to rent booths. Interested tiệc ngọt should call the organization at (714) 890-1418. Its new office address is 12761 Western Ave., Unit A, Garden Grove, CA 92841.