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LVCA statement

LVCA statement

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Published by Andrea Gillhoolley
A statement made by former Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts Board of Directors president Melissa Kulbitsky, secretary Dot Perez and member Luis Perez. May 23, 2013
A statement made by former Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts Board of Directors president Melissa Kulbitsky, secretary Dot Perez and member Luis Perez. May 23, 2013

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Published by: Andrea Gillhoolley on May 24, 2013
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05/24/2013

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LVCA/Let the facts speak for themselves/5.23.12
During the last several weeks there has been a lot of concern and speculation over the possiblesale and relocation of the Lebanon Valley Council on the Arts property located on Willow Street.Anyone who has ever sat on a Board as a Director understands that the foundation of thatBoard is built on trust and how important that trust is. Trust is what allows a diverse group ofvolunteers to come together to discuss, debate, and decide the actions involved in leading theorganization. Trust is what creates a "safe zone" where all voices are equal. Trust allowsconfidential information to be discussed without fear of disclosure. And trust is what is neededso those voices can speak without fear of retaliation. If that trust is broken, the foundation isshattered.Our foundation has been shattered.On April 19th, unauthorized, confidential information was disclosed prematurely to the members,the media, and the public. This breach of trust has put us in an unenviable position of having toapologize, explain, and attempt to salvage the remains of our organization's credibility. Bothboard members and members of the organization have been horrified over the way businesshas been conducted. The Board of Directors has stayed quiet NOT because it de-valued themembers’ or the public's opinion. Rather, because the Board does not believe that the LVCA'sbusiness should be debated on Facebook, or any other public forum. The place for discussionsis at the Board's table.It is true that we have been in negotiations about the possible sale of the building andrelocation. There was never a time that the LVCA would ever have been homeless, sale or nosale. The negotiations were complex with a lot of investigation. Focus on a new home and thepossibilities it would bring was never lost sight of. Another matter of investigation pertained tothe status of the grants the organization had received and any possible penalties attached.The $100,000.00 grant funded by the State for the purchase of the building has been rumoredto have a 10 year limitation clause attached that would not allow the property to be sold.The state was contacted by the investigating committee for verification on the status of thisgrant and received the following notification on April 23 from the Department of Community &Economic Development:
"The Grant has expired and been closed out-and to recap our discussion we now consider that the grantee has met all obligations of the contract and that the asset purchased with grant fundsis owned by the grantee and they are allowed to dispose of the asset as they see fit, especially since the grant has expired and the grantee retained the asset for a significant amount of time." 
Counter-Proposals:
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At the April 11th Board Meeting, the Directors were brought up to date on the on-goingnegotiations. They were also aware that no contract had been signed on the Building. It wasasked that Counter-Proposals be explored for possible alternatives to stay at the presentlocation by additional fundraising. This request was acknowledged and the Board scheduled ameeting for April 25th, specifically for this purpose. This scheduled meeting provided the properoutlet to consider counter-proposals, address concerns, etc. by the Directors.Regarding our finances:We have seen many different figures "representing" our income and expenses. We have neverreleased specifics regarding our finances, so question the origin and the validity of thesefigures. The figures being distributed publically do not reflect any professional audits, nor aretheir subsequent interpretations approved treasurer reports.Membership:On May 2 the Board passed a Motion to invite the Members to speak because we wanted tohonor them with a weigh-in on the important issue of possibly selling the building and relocating.Ballots were mailed to our members in good standing as of the May 2nd date. The Ballot gavethem the choice between 2 options: 1) explore outside option for equitable sale, 2) Do notconsider any offer to sell. Responses needed to be post-marked by May 18th, with 2/3 of themember ballots back to create quorum or the original decision would be referred back to theBoard. The membership did not respond with a 2/3 quorum. However, the majority of those that were returned supported the sale of the building and relocation.When the foundation of the board was shattered, the loss of trust did not just affect the Boardmembers. It also bled out into the community. Due to the lack of trust in the Organization thefollowing losses have occurred:1) Cancellation of the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Show and the refunding of approximately$5000.00 in sponsorship money that was in hand. (This show represented our signaturefundraiser. Last year it raised a $2500 profit, and had expectations of continued futuregrowth).2)Refund of $1500 that was in restricted funds to paint the exterior wood trim of the front ofthe building and the eventual purchase of signage.3)The resignation of our Vice President, President Elect, Treasurer, and 3 additional Boardmembers. Our Board of 12 is now down to 6.Recent Donations:Recently donated monies that are being collected, and that have been conditionally solicited with the stipulation that the building will never be sold, puts the organization in an unethicaldilemma. No such promise has been authorized by the board and no organization canguarantee that promise.Apology to the Church:
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