Tyrone YMCA fixing problems within

As the Tyrone Area YMCA begins the task of climbing from beneath almost $70,000 in back tax liabilities, Executive Director Amy Hampton said it is important to keep the public informed of the situation. Tuesday, August 13, she facilitated a public meeting at the YMCA on Logan Avenue in Tyrone to answer questions and gather input from the community. While many in the audience expressed frustration that current Board of Directors were not a part of the formal discussion, Hampton noted she purposely decided not to formally invite current Board members to avoid, what she termed, a “free-for-all.” A number of Board members were in the audience and some contributed to the discussion. There was no single spokesperson representing the views and actions of the Board, though.
“I can see why they wanted them there,” Hampton said. “As the person who will be responsible for implementing a plan to take care of this, I thought it was my duty to address the public. I wanted the opportunity to get my message across, to hear concerns from the public and to lay our cards on the table.”
Hampton summed up the major aspects and status of the non-profit’s financial crisis and answered questions for over an hour this past Tuesday. One of the largest concerns was accountability.
“There was an overall breakdown and like many people, I have a good idea of what happened,” she said. “But, I wasn’t there.” Hampton also noted that the Board of Directors during that period of time experienced a lot of turnover and only Board President John Harlow has been active throughout the two-and-a-half year span of unpaid taxes.
The apparent breakdown is most evident in the fact that Board President John Harlow has said he never has reviewed the YMCA’s accountant’s end of the year report.
“It’s not an audit,” Hampton said. “(CPA) John Ramsey files a 990 Form and compiles a review for the Board.” Apparently that report never reached the Board, although it did reach the YMCA.
According to page two of the eight-page report for the year 2000, dated January 15, 2002, under the category of Liabilities and Net Assets Liabilities, the YMCA had $27,680 in outstanding accrued payroll taxes. To date, those liabilities are close to $70,000.
The YMCA lost $7,650 in 1998, $28,125 in 1999 and $49,258 in 2000. Tentative numbers for 2001 project an overall loss of $24,405. Hampton stressed that although the taxes were unpaid, there is no indication that any money is actually missing. “The YMCA simply overspent,” she said.
President John Harlow said that the Board was looking into legally pursuing the matter, either civilly or criminally. “We’ve been in contact with the District Attorney’s office to see what can be done.”
Hampton said that a full-time bookkeeper has been hired and the YMCA will be adopting acceptable general accounting practices to keep the situation from happening in the future.
Hampton said that the YMCA is still awaiting word from the IRS and the commonwealth concerning the interest and penalties and she is optimistic the penalties could be forgiven.
“Right now, it’s a wait and see situation,” she said. The Board of Directors meets tonight at 6 p.m. at the YMCA.