As many of you may or may not know I am the former board President of the Black Rock Assumption Boys and Girls Club. I loved this club with my heart and soul. I put all my energies into helping this club because I believed and still believe in the good it can provide to the children of Black Rock.
In the summer of 2008 I received a notice that The Club had been awarded an $800 Crime and Safety grant from Senator Antoine Thompson. In the fall of 2008 I led a Crime and Safety fair at the Boys and Girls Club in Black Rock in the Senator’s name. All of the costs associated with the fair were fronted by club and its board of managers. In December the Program Director of the Club submitted the receipts to Jim Pavel as instructed by the senator’s office. We had to submit the receipts several times because he kept “losing” them. As of April 2009 we still had not received payment. Throughout April, May, and June I attempted to call Mark Boyd, the senator’s chief of staff, and Jim Pavel about this matter approximately 20 times. Jim Pavel was completely unresponsive. He neither answered an email or returned a phone call. Mark Boyd on the other hand told me at every phone call that he would look into it and then would never call me back.
Fast forward to FEBRUARY 2010………The Black Rock/Assumption Boys and Girls Club still has not received that $800. Other organizations are now coming forward to say they have not been paid by the Senator either. They include: BRR Little League Football, BRR Little League Baseball, The 21st Ward Independence Day Association, and Elmwood Kiwanis. Five organizations all in the 14207 zip code. Coincidence? Are there more out there?
On February 1, 2010 The Dearborn Street Community Association held a general meeting. Zach, an assistant from Sen. Thompson’s office attended this meeting unannounced. He never ever came up to Beverly Eagan (president) or myself (vice president) to introduce himself or tell us of his intent. He then proceeded to stand up and offer money for grants to the people of Dearborn. Needless to say I unloaded all my frustrations with the Senator on him.
Yesterday I received a call from Mark Boyd to get to the nuts and bolts of it. I was told that he had cancelled checks for both the Boys and Girls Club and for football that we had been paid any monies owed. Despite my certainty about the situation he stated that he had the cancelled checks but would look into the situation. Today, out of fear of bad publicity, Mark called Richard Mack, editor of the Riverside Review, and told him a different story about the situation. Will this spinning ever stop? It appears that they are in scramble mode. Why? Because it’s an election year? Will they only care about the 14207 zip code when it suits them? I am tired of playing this game with the Senator and his office. I hope he pays up but at this point when I see him and his staff begging people to take money or fill out grants I have to wince a bit and think will that grant be the one that never gets paid?
Some of you may not care about this situation. It may hit home with others. I love my community and I care about the children in this community. I’m hoping that this email will bring a change in our local officials. It will show them that they can’t pull a fast one on us….even if they think they are a rockstar!!
Vice President Dearborn Community Action Assoc.
Former President BR Assumption Boys and Girls Club Board of Managers
The above email was sent today to: Mark Boyd, Byron Brown, Steve Casey, John Duke, Teresa Glanowski, Councilmember Golombek, Sam Hoyt, Rich Lee, Rich Mack, Jim Pavel, Father Richard Jedrzejewski, David Spinda, Antoine Thompson, and Maria Whyte, among others.
Also today, at 3pm, Thompson is scheduled to hand over $250,000 to the City of Tonawanda for capital improvements to Niawanda Park.