The City of Fall River recently announced it will be allocating $100,000 in CARES Act funding to the Veterans Association of Bristol County (“VABC”), providing additional services for veteransin Fall River. Providing support for our veterans is a very courageous act by the Coogan Administration and I believe providing aid for veterans is often overlooked, and we should do more to provide to those who have done so much for us.
I believe it is imperative that we assure that the CARES funding that the city provided to the VABC is used in its totality for veterans services only. I hope to lay out some troubling concerns of the allocation of funding, most of which is taxpayer funding, in the VABC budgets. This is mainly during the FY 2017 and 2018 budgets when now City Councilor Trott Lee was the Executive Director.
The Better Business Bureau (“BBB”) has set guidelines for charity accountability regarding the allocation of public charities expenditures. The guidelines place a standard that a public charity should allocate not less than 65% of its total expenses on program activities.
If we review the VABC 2017 FY budget, the VABC received $209,209 in revenue and $148,714 in expenses.
$80,394 were for the salaries of the VABC employees.
$31,703 went towards program activities.
Only 21.3% of the VABC expenses were for the veteran program activities, way below the BBB threshold of 65%.
54.06% of the VABC expenses were for salaries, instead of further providing programs and support for veterans in our great communityLETTER TO THE EDITOR
In conclusion, I believe the VABC currently provides some satisfactory services for veterans in our area, and the City should continue to work hand in hand with them for that to continue.
However, I believe the VABC suffered from poor leadership during that time period, and there needs to be a shift from salaries and personal profits to providing more services for our veterans.