Balboa Park Centennial Committee members apologize for failure

SAN DIEGO - After three years in operation, the nonprofit charged with planning a yearlong extravaganza to mark the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park is out of business. It spent $2.6 million in taxpayer funds with little to show but a stack of bills from consultants.

While questions about just what went wrong continue to swirl, the people who ran Balboa Park Centennial Inc. apologized to the public in an exclusive interview with KPBS.

Nikki Clay, co-chair with her husband, Ben, of the centennial committee, said the couple "especially want to apologize."

"We could not feel worse about having this not work,” she said. “We kept thinking one more phone call, one more meeting, would turn that tide.”

Clay and two other board members agreed to talk about their experiences and to respond to a firestorm of criticism from members of the public, museum directors and other stakeholders who say they were left out of the planning process.

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