As an ex-board member and donor, I am very sad to know that the Autism Family Foundation has closed, though I knew that the organization was evicted on June 15 due to delinquent rent for six or seven months.
The founders and several ex-board members worked very hard to establish this organization. Within three years, we had a new office building built especially for the Autism Family Foundation to suit its needs through builder Dan Marchetta’s warm and sincere thoughts about autistic children and their families.
The foundation noted that the rent of $240,000 a year caused financial stress. It seems that the organization mismanaged its funds.
First, when the original founders were forced out in March 2011, there was $450,000 in the foundation’s account.
Second, the foundation didn’t follow through on the original plans to share the building with a couple of agencies, such as a speech therapy group, tutors and a qualified counselor, in addition to the Kids’ First school run by Summit County Educational Services. The foundation received rent of $8,000 (tax money) per month from the school.
Third, the foundation paid a salary of $55,000 annually to a director with poor qualifications and ability, in spite of its being a fledgling organization. The previous part-time director, who had a doctoral degree in special education and hands-on experience, was paid $20,000 per year.
I sent emails to all the board members warning that the new director seemed to have no ability to handle her duties. I provided explanations. They were ignored.
A sum of $137,500 or more was spent for her salary during two-and-a-half years. A nonprofit organization should not pay such a large amount to any director.
Fourth, the board never submitted a grant proposal to anyone after the founders left.
Fifth, the website shows events and activities, but most of them were canceled due to lack of participants and poor planning.
The obvious reason the board failed, it seems, is because none of the current members or the director has the skill and ability to plan and conduct events.
Furthermore, it seems they didn’t know how to operate a nonprofit organization. The donors and the public have the right to know the truth about the mismanagement of funds.
An impact in Ward 7
I have never written a letter to the editor before, but Donnie Kammer deserves one. If you live in and appreciate Firestone Park, you should thank Kammer.
He has made and continues to make such a difference in Firestone Park. He cares about Firestone Park, and he cares about people.
I’ve been to every Ward 7 meeting but one, and Kammer continues to try to help our community. If you have a concern, Kammer will work to get it handled.
He deserves to continue making progress in Firestone Park. We need to continue to show our support for Kammer and the Firestone Park community on Sept. 10.
I thank Kammer for all he has done for Ward 7 and Ward 7 residents. We appreciate him.
In reply to the Aug. 26 letter “Progress comes, but at a price,” apparently the writer can afford his own police protection, fire protection, road repairs, public utilities, public schools, just to mention a few local services.
My thinking is that levies, fees and taxes benefit all the people at a much lower financial burden than purchasing these services individually.
Adding to the pain
I wanted to comment about an Aug. 23 article about the Rev. Lawrence Hummer giving comfort to death row inmate Mark Wiles in 2012. First, the headline, “Portage man’s execution reaffirms priest’s faith,” was misleading because it suggested that the priest’s faith was reaffirmed because of the execution.
That was not what the article was about. The article was really about the priest’s assertion that the experience of emotionally connecting with a death row inmate was the “most grace-filled” of his longtime experience in the priesthood.
Second, while I’ll say that I certainly appreciate that the Rev. Hummer and others have helped to be spiritual guides to death row inmates, I question the appropriateness of revealing the conversations between the priest and the condemned man about what would happen at the inmate’s execution and death.
The article indicated that the priest told Wiles that “I’m sure that fella you killed is going to be standing beside him [the Lord] to meet you in peace.” I can only wonder what the victim’s family thinks of this.
The article also indicated that the priest asked the inmate to give him a sign that “when you get up there,” to take care of his painful shoulder. To suggest that somehow the executed man intervened in the pain that the priest had been enduring adds additional insult.
The child killed in 1985 cannot forgive his killer. I am guessing his family will never be relieved from the pain of his awful death.
I don’t know the Klima family; I just know I have sympathy for what they may have endured since his death in 1985. I think that the priest’s discussion of his relationship with Wiles was in poor taste and hurtful to a family who has already been hurt.
Short memories of Obama supporters
You absolutely have to love the hypocrisy of President Obama’s supporters as they try to justify his decision to disregard the law and govern by executive order (“Executive option,” Voice of the People, Aug. 21).
Not too long ago, when a certain Republican named Bush was president, the Democrats were howling about Bush’s attempts to ignore the law.
The New York Times reported in 2006 that “Bush’s assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government.”
In June 2007, the late U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia chimed in. “The Bush White House is constantly grabbing for more power, seeking to drive the people’s branch of government to the sidelines,” said Byrd.
It was wrong for George W. Bush to use signing statements to rewrite the laws, and it’s wrong for President Obama to issue executive orders to evade the laws that he doesn’t like.
Vision and energy for Ward 1
After carefully reviewing the qualities of each of the candidates for the newly formed Ward 1, my vote goes to Robin Green. Green is a homeowner and has been a resident of the ward for 19 years. She will make a full-time commitment to the City Council, not a part-time effort. With the concerns facing the city of Akron and Ward 1, citizens need Green’s whole-hearted concentration.
Second, she is the most qualified person, not only through academic preparation (a master’s degree in business administration), but also through her many successful years of experience in business management and development.
More important, Robin has an effective track record with boards, businesses, community and government agencies facilitating consensus and moving them forward.
Isn’t that what we really need in government today — someone who can bring all the opinions to the table and form collaborative relationships for the betterment of the community?
Third, Green will bring a fresh perspective and vision by emphasizing strategic development. Where does the city of Akron and Ward 1 want to be five years from now? Instead of a piecemeal or management-by-crisis approach, Green wants to facilitate a planned, intentional model that includes citizen involvement.
As our city and ward face ongoing challenges, let’s elect a woman with vision and energy.
DonnaMarie F. Kaminsky
I am a motorcycle rider and would like to bring the following issues to the attention of the Ohio Department of Transportation. We pay taxes through licensing and should get the same fine roadways as everyone else.
Interstate 76 West from Market Street to the central interchange has many “speed bumps” before and after each bridge. We try to stay to the right or left, but even that jars your whole body. State Route 8 north and south between Cuyahoga Falls and Boston Heights has the same issue, along with grooved pavement that your tires want to follow.
Any chance that there are ODOT workers who travel these routes on two wheels and would like to see a change themselves? We need fixes.