The county’s largest food-bank, Bethel Development Corp (BDC) located in Millville, is in dire straights due to gross negligence on the part of the county. One has to wonder if another supposed charitable organization of dubious credibility is somehow behind this.
BD, under the direction of Rev. Charles Wilkins, is one of those faith based organizations that operates mostly under the radar, seeking to serve the community rather than jumping up and speechifying any time the media is near. I know Wilkins personally, and have volunteered for the soup kitchen several times. His dedication to the local community has taken families off of welfare, helped kids that had no future go to college (in one instance, he was the impetus to help the first two in a family to even complete high school continue on to college) and runs a full service One-Stop program. In short, this is no scam artist looking to create six-figure jobs for friends and family like another organization located in Bridgeton.
Bethel like the other charitable organizations receives the bulk of its funding through the county. Cumberland County personnel informed these organizations that they would be able to apply for the grants via the county website. Naively believing in the competence and integrity of the people that sent the letter, Bethel decided to apply online rather than waste paper.
Long story short, the county changed its mind and decided to only allow paper submissions. And then, to add to the problem, they failed to notify Bethel Development Corp, and instead sent notification to Bethel AME Church, which is a completely different entity. The County KNOWS this, and so the only conclusion I can come to is that there is some hanky-panky going on in order to divert more funds to another agency, one that spends millions on inflated salaries rather than helping people.
To make matters worse, it seems that Dave Mulford lied, and in doing so called Reverend Wilkins a liar.
Mulford emphatically denied the packet was ever on the county website.
“I feel as though people are besmirching myself and those in my office,” said Mulford, in response. “It’s not true — the packet was never made available on the county website.”
At that, Wilkins stood and brandished a letter, mailed to him by Mulford’s office, which pointed Bethel toward the county website to make its proposal submissions.
“You called the wrong reverend a liar,” he exclaimed.
It is time to hold the people responsible for this act of utter incompetence responsible. In the private sector they would be reprimanded at the very least. I submit that with this display of utter incompetence they should be relieved of their positions, and jobs given to people that actually want to work for a living.
At the very least, the county must make amends and correct for their mistake. BDC is one of the local organizations that is responsible in the handling of funds, and that always submits paperwork on time, and filled out completely and accurately. And, they have accountability, unlike Gateway who took almost a quarter of a million when MWatch first started, and still have not accounted for the bulk of that money.