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Vol. 17 No. 43 - August 9, 2017

letters to the editor

Center review 'shocking'

City of Anna Maria Mayor Dan Murphy and the city commission deserve praise for requesting CPA John Chambers to perform a financial condition review of the Center of AMI, which he performed for free. Chambers deserves great praise for the time and effort and skill he provided to the city.

At his July 27th presentation to the commission, Mr. Chambers presented a gentle voice but the figures in the presentation were shocking. The figures included a report that the net assets of the Center were projected to decrease by $462,102 during the year ending June 30, 2017. They reflected that The Center had to withdraw $300,000 during that year from endowment to help cover funding shortfalls.

Mr. Chambers also reported The Center had lost about $85,000 in grants, one because low-income children were not significantly served and another due to loss of confidence in The Center Administration. The Center’s financial condition reflects loss of confidence by more than United Way and Manatee County. It reflects a general loss of confidence by the community in the overall operations.

The Center cannot persist operating as a private club and expect public money to finance its operations. Such expectations are a formula for continued failure. To move forward, The Center needs to amend its bylaws to embrace adherence to our Sunshine laws and include voting representation of our Island cities on the board of directors. To achieve its full potential, The Center cannot persist in claiming “transparency” while refusing to abide by the Sunshine laws, because doing so denies meaningful public oversight and erodes trust and the credibility necessary for The Center fulfilling its potential. The Center can no longer refuse board voting representation of Island cities and expect municipal officials entrusted with the public purse to have no meaningful say in how its residents’ money is spent.

Robyn Mary Kinkopf
Holmes Beach


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