Mateel Calls Meeting Tonight to Talk About Financial Troubles and Role in the Community

The Mateel Community Center in Redway announced earlier this month that Reggae on the River, an event the Center relied on heavily to fund operations, lost a significant amount of money.

A meeting tonight at the Mateel at 6:30pm seeks to “re-examine as a community what our priorities are” and to re-evaluate what is needed for the Center.

According to letter from Justin Crellin the Mateel’s manager published earlier in the North Coast Journal, “Very challenging times lie ahead, there are difficult decisions to make, and the future of both ROTR and the MCC is at stake.”

Below is information about the event from the  Mateel Community Center:

mateel LogoCome join us for the opportunity to re-examine as a community what our priorities are for the Mateel Community Center and re-evaluate not only what we need to keep the center viable in the long run, but also what is needed to stay relevant and functioning with the greatest beneficial impact for the entire community. Like it or not, our community and economy is changing, and this is a real fact we will need to come to terms with as a community. As a first step in this direction- for the Mateel Community Center anyway- we, the board and staff of MCC, would like to invite the community to join us…Tuesday, September 19th- 6:30pm at MCC- 59 Rusk Ln in Redway to reflect on these matters.

We will discuss our current financial/ operational situation, answer questions/ review options, start to assess what the community wants its community center to be in the future, and talk ideas in setting a more sustainable course for the center in the years ahead. If ever there was a community that could do it though, it is ours. Please join us…!



  • “Our community and economy are changing”, very true. Not going to be the cash flow of past years. Everybody is going to feel the effects. Lots of hate from commenters towards the cannabis industry. Those commenters are not immune either.

  • Wu Tang concert will fix everything. Make it happen.

  • Keep on keepin on feeding the trimigrants, junkies, and thieves and see where that gets you. The meal is the new face of the Mateel. Oh, but its one of the Flagship Programs at the Hall. Well its not in any of the original vision and path writings by the founders. its not in the creed…What is in there is Music and Arts programs for children and people of our community. Clean it up Mateel! You’ve alienated those of us who contributed most in past years.Fix it!

  • I wonder what kind of effect the community park will have on the Mateel after they start having festivals and shows.

  • The Mateel and Park are partners in community organizing. The current park volunteers do not want to become concert promoters (please no) or hold our own events besides the occasional fundraiser or summer camp or something. The hope is that the mateel and community will use the park for their own outdoor events, like the rodeo just did. The park strongly supports the Mateel and thinks that both entities contribute to a strong sense of ownership and community because they were built by this community, for use by this community. The Mateel was built at a time when we did not have much money, but we did have time. Hopefully this changing economy will encourage us to get back to our roots and contribute to what we think is important besides making money. Support the Mateel!

    P.s. I usually don’t have time to hang out on a post all day, so if you want to troll me, I apologize for not engaging.

    • The Mateel and Park are partners in community organizing.

      Wow, I had no idea. So if you are “partners”, how come the Park does not have their big annual fundraiser at the MCC this year, its in Eureka? How much $$$ will the Metz’s make than the MCC…

      Was the MCC partners with you, when the Park spent $379,000 on your rezone?

      The hope is that the mateel and community will use the park for their own outdoor events, like the rodeo just did.

      You mean like the 10 acre private vineyard, or the 30 acres of private cattle grazing and 10 acres of private farming, you want to become a private Rent-A-Park, right?

      Hopefully this changing economy will encourage us to get back to our roots and contribute to what we think is important besides making money.

      So that would mean you charged the Rodeo zero to have the Garberville Rodeo at the Park this year, right?

      I hope you mean what you just said, because you cannot delete your post later. But according to you and other members of the Park Board, just earlier this year, if you did not get your rezone to make fee’s from events at the Park, you might have to sell the Park. Do you remember that?

      In 2016, you claim the Park cost you $291,718 in expenses and you still have $267,232 in outstanding private debt against the Park property and secured private loans, that include compound and high interest. What makes the Park so much more financially solvent, responsible and transparent than the MCC? At least the MCC has meetings open to the public, it’s been what 7 years since the Park Board had one…

  • How does that olde MATEEL acronym go: Money At The Expense of Everybody Local or something like that. Who remembers the others?

    • Maybe start having some really fun monthly dances, like square dances & circle dances, dancing to the oldies… Pot lucks, or little kid play days… Don’t charge for these things! You don’t charge for the M Meal- and that’s 3 days a week! Get money from the “community park”. They have lots& lots.

      • I like the idea of having dances, I’d pay 5 bucks to attend. It’s a community center, why not have yoga, exercise classes, skill sharing workshops, swap meets….time to get a little creative and more community minded, other than the free lunches. And maybe make them work trade lunches, instead of free.

        • Yes! Set up PingPong tables, Chess boards, homework tables…let older kids come meet up after school in a safe zone. Teens & Tweens need a place to gather, off the streets & out of the rain. Maybe a “Ballroom Dance” class? It needs to be for the everyday community, not just the homeless. Maybe one day a week have a homeless meal- other people don’t want to go there when freaky people are there,& certainly not kids! Team up with Family Resource& HeadStart- maybe Rotary&Soroptimis? Good Ideas can lead to good plans…

  • It is very hard to find a place to live in the area. There are many vacant homes and it is frustrating as they sit empty. A community can only grow when there are homes available. Almost every home on the square is empty. How can a community grow when there are so many that won’t rent out the homes that are vacant.

    • I know why mine is sitting empty. It is because the last tenant cost more than leaving it empty in damage and late/unpaid rent. I will keep it empty till my child finishes college and maybe will return. If they decide not to return, I will sell the house. But it will be a few years.

  • How the he’ll do you lose money on reggae on the river?

  • The meal program is a slap in the face to the residents of Redway. The center should never of been buildt there. It was ugly politics at the worst. There is no f—– parking.

  • Pay the fire departments!

  • Unfortunately the current design of the building is phase 1only. That is all that has been completed and in reality is still primarily only useful as a party/boogie hall . Whoo. Party on.

    The beautiful stage extending over the parking lot with dressing rooms and other private areas (dance practice rooms& space for classes and meetings etc) below it are architecturally rendered but construction has never been attempted. Or even penciled in. Maybe in the heyday we dreamed of moving forward with that plan, before the cursed money sapping reggae lawsuit rising debacle . Sad really. And Doug gone now too… I wonder what he would suggest?

    I digress..

    I’m just sad that now we are bleeding red as Reggae fails in the first time in recent memory to not bring home that valuable profit that has historically met the annual operating costs for the MCC and it is a terrible shame we haven’t already built the entire building with all that useful space, and as was originally envisioned…speaking of “the original vision and path”

  • When they have the meeting someone should ask them why they’re having problems with the Attorney General’s office about their non-profit reporting for 2014 and 2015?
    The AG(s) have requested that MCC provide copies of Independent Audits which are required by law.
    “The Annual Registration Renewal Fee Report submitted on behalf of the captioned organization for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2015 is incomplete for the following reason(s):
    1. It appears from our review of Form RRF-1 that an independent audit was required, pursuant to the provisions of Government Code section 12586. We further note that it is stated on the Form RRF-1 that no audit was conducted. Please either provide a copy of the independent audit conducted for the affected year or explain why the organization was exempt from this requirement.
    In addition to the deficiency noted above, your organization is delinquent in its filing of prior years fiscal reports. In order to clear your organization’s delinquent status and comply with the law, please submit the following reports, together with the information requested above to complete the current fiscal year’s filing requirements:”
    “In order to remain in compliance with the filing requirements set forth in Government Code sections 12586 and 12587, please provide the requested information, together with a copy of this letter, to the above address, within thirty (30) days of the date of this letter.”
    The letter was dated February 15, 2017
    This is a public record which anyone can access from the site:

    It looks like the financial problems go back several years and that someone/some people have not been paying attention to what needs to be done. I haven’t really looked at the IRS Form 990s closely but one of them shows a bank overdraft charge (not a good thing) and not a lot of money left at the end of the year.

    I see no one has mentioned that the decline in attendance might possibly be due to the Sizzla Kalonji issue? Some people who try to elevate their consciousness might decide that the choice to invite that performer showed a lack of respect for the people Sizzla disses and more interest in money makers than in promoting positive vibes and choose to spend their money and time elsewhere.

    Saying that everything went well and putting the matter behind them might be what the people in charge chose to do but that doesn’t mean it was acceptable (community-wise)
    or a smart business move as far at Reggae on the River’s reputation.

    As far as the future, MCC is bound by their Founding Documents (a copy of which can be found on the AG website).
    Bottom line: They can’t make any changes without the approval of the Attorney General. And since they’re behind on their required paperwork, you can bet the people who handle the Charities accounts already have the MCC flagged for monitoring so they don’t go too far from what they allowed to do and required to do.

    I used to be a member of a non-profit (always legit) and learned there, and later a non-profit radio station I supported started having problems and the AG almost pulled their non-profit status. Things were worked out, but it was very close.

    I hope MCC can get their act together and that the community can take a larger role in getting them back on track.
    good luck to all

    • There is no accountability. Classic case of dysfunctional social behavior in a black market underground economy community. It’s not like the Mateel Community Center is a private for-profit corporation, they are a public benefit, tax exempt and charitable organization, being run and operated as if they were a private business.

      Now they are in major debt, they scream like a mashed cat. That’s because not one person is accountable, not one. If they are as broke and in debt as they say and this has been coming since 2014, how come their 990 tax returns have not shown anything wrong?

      So who is accountable; the Board? the accountant? the paid staff? the paid executive director? or the paid general manager? Because it sure as hell was not the river, or the wildlife habitat that have to deal with Reggae on the River. It’s time, it’s time to let it go and say less is more. What goes around comes around.

      For an organization who likes to think of themselves as organic and “back-to-the-land”, they have forgotten nature’s law…

  • Justin has always wanted to run the Mateel and Reggae as his own private club without any supervision. Once the Board went all-in on Justin, appointing him as director!, this was inevitable. He has alienated anyone who wouldn’t just say yes to him while he mismanaged the Mateel. He instigated the Reggae wars so he could wrestle control of the event for himself. With as much of a divisive force he has been in the community it is no wonder there is so little support left for his version of the Mateel.

    The community will have to find a way to take the Mateel back and give it some responsible, representative management or the days are numbered.

  • Burned by the Mateel… Your name says it all, you are biased because of your own butthurt and as such are invalidating your own argument due to the personal nature of your gripe against Justin. You are looking for a scapegoat for your own issues and have found it in the General Manager.

    Justin is the single surviving person with the longest term of employment and experience at the Mateel. Since the beginning of his employment he always just took the workload expected of him, stacked tons of stuff not expected of him on top of his workload, and did his best. His commitment and dedication to the Mateel has been noticed and appreciated by those of us who didn’t breeze in and demand something and not get what they wanted, but by those of us that have witnessed him tirelessly commit himself with little to no thanks or compensation over the many years of his employment.

    His rather recent promotion to General Manager of the Mateel was a choice to further and better the local gathering place he has put his lifeblood into, someone was needed to step up, and in typical Justin fashion he took on the workload no matter how difficult. Over the years people have burned out because of the difficulty, differences of opinions, and general inability to give oneself so loyally to a community cause and a dream rather than because of personal agenda, not Justin. Never once has he asked for recognition, he hasn’t faltered even though he has to be “the bad guy” when making tough decisions.

    Let me ask you, do you want his responsibilities? Do you think you can do so much better? Or are you such a petty bottom feeder that you must come onto a forum to make yourself feel better by denouncing someone because you didn’t “make the cut” in what you proclaim as some elite “personal club” you aren’t welcomed into?

    Let me tell you from personal experience, it’s not a difficult club to get into. Problem is: you just have to be a dedicated, decent, hard working person with basic human morals and they let you in with open arms. If you have some personal agenda or major pathological issue you can kick rocks no matter where you apply…

    Mic Drop………

    • Mateel4Ever,

      How come the Mateel have not done an audit for the last 3 tax years? In fact, they have not made their 2016 tax return public. This is not just one person’s fault, the buck should stop at the Board. However, there should also be accountability with the paid Board Staff as well.

      The County did not cause this, it was the Mateel that wanted to get all the required permits to have ROTR at French’s Camp, of which none were required at Benbow State Park. I remember Justin saying, they had made more profit at Benbow having a smaller venue for ROTR. What happened?

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