You are currently viewing Transparency should be cheaper than secrecy – Chico Enterprise-Record

Transparency should be cheaper than secrecy – Chico Enterprise-Record

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As a founder and former major donor to the Esplanade House (EH), I read with interest your article on the status of the public records request lawsuit against the Community Action Agency (CAA) which manages EH. The judicial ruling, which may be appealed, allows the public to finally examine CAA’s spending records they have hid from public scrutiny. It was several years ago that the EH Children’s Fund presented to the CAA board of directors, letters from former employees and witnesses including a former CAA comptroller about toxic management issues and spending irregularities. The CAA Board chose to ignore the evidence presented and continue their secrecy.

Following that decision, the EH Children’s Fund withdrew its support since we could not, in good conscience, solicit community donations for an organization that did not allow complete fiscal transparency nor heed the warnings of former employees. Even though the EH Children’s Fund was a major sponsor, the CAA Board of Directors chose financial secrecy and did not seem to mind further compromising the EH program for homeless families with children.

It is unconscionable that the CAA Board is willing to spend thousands of taxpayer/donation dollars to keep their spending records secret instead of simply being transparent and using that money to fight the devastating problem of homelessness. Such action lends credence to the suspicion that CAA would rather hide their spending habits than be true to their mission.

— Gary A. Incaudo, Sacramento

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