Monday, May 16, 2011

Not Keeping Veterans Happy

A Vietnam Veteran wrote in recently to the LMT Op/Ed page complaining about city officials not attending a veterans ceremony on April 30, 2011.  He figured since this wasn't an election year, local politicians didn't have any incentive to go out and pay tribute to our fighting heroes.  Now we have another veteran taking issue with the Veterans Coalition.  Check it out. 
Former Veterans Coalition committee officer speaks out on what he sees as irregularities

To the editor:
As the past Senior Officer of the Laredo Veterans Coalition’s Executive Committee, I feel a moral obligation to report what I see as the improper use of public funds, which should be going to indigent veterans.
After many requests to the chairman and the executive director of the LVC regarding financial expenditures, budgetary allowances and the bylaws, I was refused access to these documents.
Several other members of the organization also have not succeeded in obtaining those documents, which should be accessible to members.

Finally, after filing requests for public information about the LVC’s finances, the City of Laredo and Webb County provided the information.
Many of us were angered when we discovered that most of the Webb County funds are earmarked for what I see as excessive staff salaries while elderly and incapacitated veterans are getting scraps.
The staff is often absent, the office often closed, and the executive director does not bother to return calls to veterans who want to request services.
Last month, elections were held that did not meet Robert’s Rules of Order, which the LVC bylaws require.
The agenda was not posted 72 hours prior to the meeting; in fact, we did not get it until a few hours before the meeting started.
The City of Laredo and Webb County should stop funding the Coalition until it has its house in order, in accordance with the bylaws and other requirements.

As a nonprofit organization, the Coalition has strict laws to which it must adhere.
The IRS will not allow a tax deduction for people who give monies through donations and fundraisers to a nonprofit organization that is not in compliance with federal statutes.
The sad situation is that a group of, yes, scoundrels, have taken control of the LVC and are using resources to help themselves rather than doing more to support veterans with medications, food expenses, utilities and burial expenses.

Richard R. Rosell

It's the lack of communication, lack of efficiency, and apathy that we've come to expect from certain circles in Laredo.

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