Leadership Cumberland County facts

Yesterday I wrote about the forced demise of Leadership Cumberland County, an extremely valuable program being eliminated by the CCIA due to the short-sightedness, and lack of understanding of Don Rainear.

As I re-read the bogus reporting, I see many errors, and total gullibility of the article writer. The decision was made by the CCIA at their meeting on the evening of the 27th.  No reporters were present, according to my sources who were present. So the question begs, who contacted The News with this story, and why?

Why was the story biased, and why did it give bogus numbers? Does Don Rainear not even have the most basic understanding of how this program works? Apparently not. First of all, it was not solely Leadership Cumberland County that was eliminated. LCC is simply one of many programs administered by the Center for Leadership, Community and Neighborhood Development.

The article inferred that LCC costs the CCIA over six-figures annually. This is a total fabrication. Every class participant antes up $700 to participate in the program. The exceptions are those that enter via a scholarship, which cuts the price in half. Each class has 24 participants.

The Leadership Cumberland County program is self-sufficient regarding direct program expenses due to the tuition.  Any excess is tolled back into the program to provide for more scholarships. that figure was not an actual cost to the CCIA, that money was paid to the CCIA by LCC participants and earmarked for LCC. I hope that Don Rainear understands that the LCC money unused to date does not belong to him or the CCIA but must be designated to LCC. I am already working up a letter to the state attorney general.

The writer of the article was apparently spoon-fed the story, and totally  neglected to do any investigation. The article neglected to mention that the elimination of the Center for Leadership, Community and Neighborhood Development also effectively eliminates support for the nonprofit sector in Cumberland County, including but not limited to the workshops, resources and support provided them.

Cumberland County has  726 non-profits. The Center for Leadership, Community and Neighborhood Development provided workshops for fire departments seeking grants for updated equipment, support for little leagues looking for ways to acquire equipment, and so much more.  The workshops are now totally eliminated, and all but the largest organizations are now without the support or resources they need to survive.

Jill Lombardo, I am sure, will land on her feet. She is one of that rare breed that actually cares about people. I am not so sure of the future for those charitable organizations located in the county, such as the 4-H, soup kitchens which are packed more full every week as unemployment creeps skyward, and many more that provide necessary services to county residents.

Hopefully there are individuals that live in the county, and actually do care about the county, that understand the importance of these programs, and that will help resuscitate not only LCC, but the Center for Leadership, Community and Neighborhood Development entirely.

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14 Responses to Leadership Cumberland County facts

  1. Matt Dunn says:

    I specifically refer to “The Center for Leadership, Community and Neighborhood Development” in my story. My only mistake I made was not realizing that The Center, which did cost the CCIA six figures to operate last year, encompasses a lot more than “Leadership Cumberland County.”

    I will take your word that Leadership Cumberland Count is self-sufficient. Regardless of this, the main point of the story is 100% true. The program is being eliminated — along with the rest of The Center for Community and Neighborhood Development. Gone. Kaput.

    By the way, I was at the meeting, as was Joe Smith of The Daily Journal. I was seated in the back of the room with a bright red laptop. Your “source” couldn’t miss me … unless he or she didn’t bother to look.

    Next time before you start making accusations, get your facts right — and I’ll try and do the same.

  2. Calhoun says:

    Carl, aren’t you being a little hard on Dunn? He was there. As Matt points out, the main thing here is the elimination of the Center for Leadership, Community & Neighborhood Development. While this is no doubt a good cause, I struggle to understand why an improvement authority should be funding such a large venture. I also find it hard to believe the whole center is self-sufficient, and, if it is, then why is it under the CCIA? Improvement Authorities are supposed to administer county projects (like waste disposal), and I struggle to see how providing funding for the county’s non-profits is a core component of such a mission.

    I don’t like all the largesse that flows Tri-County’s (Albert Kelly’s) way. Likewise, I struggle with all the money under CCIA’s purview that ends up flowing to projects that really are not core county projects, even if they are good causes with no whiff of abuse. The safest approach is to shut the money spigot off. Too many non-profits have gotten too close to the political process and its sources of funding. And it is this landscape that allows people like Kelly to flourish. There may be some collateral damage to shutting off the spigot, but I am willing to take that risk.

    Of course the other danger here is that cutting these programs will effect no savings, the money simply being funneled to other politically connected interests. Making sure this does not happen will require vigilence from the public.

  3. WuLi says:

    Matt – sorry for the confusion and misinformation.

    Haystacks – the problem with CLCND being dissolved is that Tri-County is more empowered to have more money funneled their way, as the smaller non-profits, the ones sturggling and that are actually putting the money where it belongs are now losing a valuable resource. They cannot afford to pay people obscene salaries, as Tri-County does to write grants, etc. They do not even know where to find this information, which CLCND provides. The sources for this money are not necessarily from the county level, but federal and private. As I said, local fire departments have utilized the resources as have little league teams.

  4. Sheena Santiago says:

    I wish Jill Lombardo good luck, she is great. My son is one of her students in the Youth Leadership. She really cares and her work is outstanding. The children love her. The Youth Leadership is a great program. The students earn 3 college credits at the end of the program. These politicians are making cuts in the wrong areas. I hope we all remember on election day. Magazzuwatch keep up the good work.

  5. Calhoun says:

    Carl, I share your concern. I almost sent my post with only the first two paragraphs. Then I realized how Utopian my view was, not to mention naïve when one considers that Cumberland County is ruled by Jabba the Freeholder (thought I would resurrect that one). Hence the the third paragraph in my original post, which generally covers your concern. My proposal could only succeed if all non-profits were treated equally. And as we know, that is not the case in Cumberland County. Sadly, what we may be seeing is not fiscal prudence but simply the redistribution of money from non-profits that actually do something to one that is running for Mayor of Bridgeton.
    Did you see Clair Miller’s 22 April letter endorsing Kelly? Just when I think Mr. Miller has reached the zenith of his career in political sycophancy, he goes and proves me wrong. Good job Clair.
    Not to get off topic but someone sent me a Daily Journal post from someone who goes by stankyleg. MWatchers may get a chuckle out of the post’s last sentence: “Maggie just shut up and stop trying to sound conservative. We know ur own party hates you and ur stuck as a Freeholder in Cumberland County as punishment!!” A few more wisecracks like that stankyleg and you’ll be getting the stink eye from Lou and his cronies.

  6. Oinkforfreedom says:

    I say look at the Delaware River Port Authority. In the 90’s they put money to the new soccer stadum in Chester, and many other groups under the eye of one Vince Fumo who now is in his new Kentucky Home.
    This site and folks who have the knowledge to follow the “savings” (e.g the $$)need to keep the pressure on them to show transparency when it comes to cuts and where they are putting the “savings”. Not to sound like an anti-tax freak, I bet nobody will see lower taxes.
    We might want to ask the same of the Governor. I say CUT the Office of the First Lady. That could save someithing or a job or 2.

  7. WuLi says:

    Calhoun, funny that you mention that stankylegs comment. I had a conversation a few months ago with a high ranking Dem, not of Cumberland County. They said that the money that was funneled into Lou’s campaign by Camden County Norcross “D’s” was to ensure that Lou stayed put. It is not that there was any great love or admiration, but there was great fear that he could be displaced, and then they would have to deal with him daily in Trenton, and frankly they just don’t like him. At least he is useful to them in this position, anywhere else he would be – how did they put it – like your little bratty kid brother that wants to tag along but only just gets in the way.

  8. CLCND Director says:

    Mr. Dunn:

    While I may agree or disagree with your statements, I do take exception to one.

    I hope that after years of pouring your heart and soul into your work that someone is not as insensitive or callous to refer to the end of your tenure as “Gone. Kaput.”

    Because at the end of this day, it’s all about human beings.

    I wish you well.

  9. JamesRSauro says:

    Maybe it’s being eliminated because Lou never got his certificate when he went. There is a mandatory attendance. Your only allowed so many misses. He went over that and they wouldn’t give him his certificate. I hear he wasn’t a happy camper. Now that he has control over the CCIA Poof the program is gone. It is a great program. I was fortunate enough to attend and Finish. It taught the individual a lot.

  10. Guess-Who says:

    I say consider Doing away with the C.C.I.A. Board all together,along with some others within the County.
    These Appointed Boards are USELESS for most of the County Residents.
    They are Self Serving to say the least.

    Due the C0$T of these County Boards out Weigh the Benefits, This is the Question that you should be asking yourself along with others.

    The Governor has made IT clear; some of these RIDICULOUS appointed boards are going in the REDUCTION & REFORM agenda.

    I am going to encourage him to dissolve a majority of the Appointed Boards in Cumberland County & allow the Municipalities more say when the situation effects their CITIZENS.

    ———————————————-
    Checks and Balance make the County a Better Place

  11. Matt Dunn says:

    CLCND Director,

    I apologize if I offended you … it wasn’t my intention.

  12. WuLi says:

    Not to kick a dead dog – but Matt, you are claiming that you were in attendance of the closed meeting when they discussed the elimination of CLCND? Just trying to clarify…

  13. Gilgamesh says:

    Hmmm… no response from the Dunnmeister…

  14. Matt Dunn says:

    I was in the meeting where they eliminated the CLCND, but I was not privy to any conversations they had behind closed doors.

    Matt

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