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Saturday, 05 May 2012

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Barbara Stratton

I would like more information on the "partners meetings" beginning with why these meetings are not announced as public meetings. The video link lists partners as The Boys & Girls Club and The YMCA. There is a long history of both of these private organizations being mixed into the Valdosta/Lowndes parks & recreation government operations including past competitions between these private sector elements. One of the main reasons Public/Private Partnerships are not in the citizen's best interests is the fact the private entities are used to evade government transparency responsibilities. If the VLPRA is going to consider themselves partners with any private organization then the public has a right to know what is being discussed & what future plans are being considered. Those of us who are aware of past conflicts with partial privatizations of parks & recreation have a right to know that safeguards are enacted to prevent a return to situations that were not always in the best interest of the citizens and/or created sweetheart deals for private entities. Any private organization who claims to be non-profit should have to submit to an independent audit and also account for how for profit revenues relate to non-profit claims. When any organization that claims non-profit status in order to receive tax credits, grant monies, and United Way funds can have a million dollar plus extortion operation siphoning off revenues at the same time something is not right. Local taxpayers have a right to know that full disclosure and auditing methods are being employed to prevent any repeat situations before partnering is allowed.

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