More Amy Herr Schoolboard Corruption
Profiting from “Non-Profits” : Schoolboard member Amy Herr doubles her salary at the School-funded Boys and Girls Club
12/19/10 – As we reported before, the “Non-Profit” Boys and Girls Club of the San Gorgonio Pass each year receives well over half a million dollars in taxpayer funding. The funding was solely made possible by 2 votes taken by the Banning School Board (2007 + 2009). School Board member Amy Herr participated in both of these votes – despite having a conflict of interest : she did so despite being a paid executive of the Club (see previous Banning Informer Article- view ). While much of Banning is out of work, Amy Herr has since managed to double her salary and gets rich at the public trough.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST GALORE
Amy Herr is not only a School Board member, she is also a paid Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club. It is in this capacity that Herr is able to personally profit from this “Non-Profit” – she receives a huge salary. Herr had a conflict of interest both times when she participated in votes on the Schoolboard in order to contract with the Club: it was only because of her own votes that the Club was able to pay her salary ( over 95 % of the Club’s revenue originates from public funding – source)
Earlier this year (2010), when the State of California cut the School District’s funding, Amy Herr voted to lay off many teachers and school employees, therewith ensuring that the District would be in a position to continue funding the Boys and Girls Club’s school programs.
Due to Herr’s salaried position at the Boys and Girls Club, this 2010 vote again appears to have been taken in conflict of interest – making this her third illegal vote in conflict of interest! Again , Herr’s vote directly affected the Club’s ability to pay her salary – the Club has no other income of substance, (view most recent 990 tax return). There can be little doubt : conflict of Interest votes have proven to be highly profitable for Amy Herr.
WHAT RECESSION ? – AMY HERR SECURES OBSCENE SALARY
While Banning has an unemployment rate of over 17 %, for Amy Herr there seems to be not even a shadow of a recession : in 2009 she was able to increase her annual Boys and Girls Club salary to an unprecedented – and truly obscene – $ 63,000. In 2008 her salary was just about half : $32,962 (which she claims she earned in just 9 months on the job).
As mentioned above, earlier this year many school employees and teachers were laid off by Amy Herr’s vote on the Schoolboard . Keeping some of these employees may have meant cuts in the Boys and Girls Club contracts, which in turn could have jeopardized the Club’s ability to continue to pay Herr’s increased salary.
BOB BOTTS CONDONES SALARY
Banning’s former Mayor and City Council member Bob Botts is the current president of The Boys and Girls Club. While Botts does not receive a salary, he must be held accountable for all of the Club’s actions. These include the doubling of Herr’s annual salary to $ 63,000 amidst the deepest recession in recent history. Let’s not forget that the source of the Club’s funding is no other than the taxpayer. It must be assumed that Bob Botts has condoned this increase, since – over the years – he has never missed an opportunity to stick it to the taxpayer, (view our previous stories here and here ) .
Other than Botts, the following directors of the Boys and Girls Club bear responsibility for Amy Herr’s outrageous salary: Police Chief Leonard Purvis, School Board member Wendell Bainter, Katryn Robinson (wife of Councilmember Don Robinson), Banning Chamber of Commerce Jim Smith, Gail Paparian and Linda Hanley (Bank of Hemet) – ( source-pg. 7) . Next time you see any of these individuals, ask them why they support Amy Herr getting a $63,000 salary.
BREEDING GROUND FOR CORRUPTION
The Boys and Girls Club’s practice of paying exorbitant (taxpayer funded) salaries to insiders is nothing new: Earlier this year, the Boys and Girls Club of America was under investigation by US Senators for paying its president close to $1 million a year ! (view CBS story). The national Club is also accused of spending $4.3 million on travel and $1.6 million on “conferences” in just one year, therewith setting a great example for our local Banning branch. From top to bottom, the Club seems rotten to the core.
Boys and Girls Clubs were originally founded on the ideal of helping our youth by way of volunteerism. However, this noble concept has since been severely compromised : ever since public (taxpayer) funding was introduced, the Boys and Girls Club of the San Gorgonio Pass is contracting to do many of the services that our School District is supposed to provide.
As a result, huge salaries are now paid to people on the inside of the Club – people who do not answer to the public. Nobody at the Boys and Girls Club has ever been elected by the public. The public is now provided with a vastly reduced level of transparency and accountability (close $ 500,000 in employee salaries remain “confidential”, according to Herr) ; Not only that : any disputes, disciplinary matters, any cronyism or favoritism within the Club are not subject to public scrutiny. All of the Club’s records are confidential – and so are the Club’s proceedings. Nobody at the Club must answer to the public, and nobody there is elected by us to be there or to act on our behalf.
Amy Herr’s example goes to show that the concept of publicly funding “Non-Profits” stinks : it brings about the perfect breeding ground for corruption, (see also City of Bell’s funding of the Steelworkers Oldtimers Foundation or Grand Jury investigation of funding the Banning Cultural Alliance, another organization with close ties to both Herr and Botts).
Within the City of Banning, nobody personifies the concept of “Non-Profit” corruption better than Amy Herr. The facts are clear : the Boys and Girls Club is being used as a vehicle to enrich the same School Board official that voted to create the entire scheme.
Amy Herr voted to use taxpayer money to make her own bed - and she did so while not hesitating to lay off many teachers and school employees. Should Amy Herr be removed from office over this scandal ? We believe that she should.
Amy : This Christmas season, think about all those School employees who have lost their jobs so you could double your salary. No doubt, they will be thinking about you and the despair you brought upon them!