Saturday, May 15, 2010

Columbia's CBA is really just a giant slush fund

From the NY Post:

A $76 million windfall intended to help Harlem residents is in limbo -- and may never be paid -- because the politician-backed nonprofit in charge of distributing the money is in disarray, The Post has learned.

Although it formed four years ago, the West Harlem Local Development Corp. lacks a mission statement, has yet to get tax-exempt status from the IRS and doesn't even have a phone number.

The group already has received $500,000 from Columbia University -- part of a 16-year payout designed to assuage community fears over the school's expansion -- yet hasn't spent a cent on the neighborhood.

At least five people have quit the nonprofit, alleging that it was becoming a "slush fund" for Manhattan politicians.

The delay "threatens to undermine" the agreement and leave Harlem with nothing, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer charged in a scathing letter to the group.

The organization hasn't set up any guidelines for doling out the cash and ensuring accountability, yet its four-member executive committee is itching to write checks without "a formal application process, without public notices, without protocols for selection, without advice from a community advisory committee," Stringer said in the letter, addressed to then-West Harlem President Julio Batista.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's an original thought...