Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Of Accountability, Of Responsibility

How can it be that the elected board members of the CHCA ever approved the motion calling for Sanjiv Jain, owner of Legacy Real Estate and major commercial and rental property developer, to be the Vice President of the Physical Division of the CHCA? Physical Division Committees include Zoning, L&I and Aesthetics. Hmmm, seems to me that the wolf is guarding the hen house.

Since as a member of the Lasalle Nonprofit Center and the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, I network with major and local funders, and Nonprofit Presidents and Executive Directors, I have discussed this scenario with many in the profession. All have responded that this is unethical and dangerous. Also immoral, repugnant, foul, or simply wrong.

Issues of ethics and accountability have hung like a low, dark, ominous cloud over this board for two years, especially the Executive Committee yet too many seem not to sense the storm to come when the right people gain the access to books and audits that they, by law, are entitled to. No amount of rain gear will protect any board member.

(Incidentally, the Executive Committee ought to be abolished. It really is superfluous and seems to be the cause of all questionable behavior. The Executive board members could work on other productive committees.)

What is wrong with this Board? Don’t they know that accountability and responsibility are their primary role as board members? Don’t they know that neither ignorance nor indifference nor absence serves as an excuse for this blatant abuse of trust? Is it any surprise that the Fund is the lowest it’s been since the 80’s? You have let this community down big time.

Marie Lachat


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