Entries Tagged 'Multi-cultural center' ↓

What is going on at the Multi-Cultural center’s sandwich kitchen?

‘THE WOMAN’ Executive Director of Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center Christy Nicolaisen (KELO-TV screenshot)

Watch public input at Tuesday’s SF City Council meeting (FF: 6:30)

Apparently Daniel Brooks (Granny’s Golden Oven) has been evicted from the MCC’s kitchen where he was contracted to make sandwiches for events. Daniel has had his own set of problems in the past. When he ran for city council it came out that he had some financial problems, he has also lost two locations of his restaurant. While I don’t know all the details of his eviction, his testimony by his family is disheartening (and quite disgusting), and I would love to hear the other side of the story. I would hate to hear that the director of a facility that promotes diversity is discriminating against people.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Brooks once and I found him to be a very respectful pleasant gentleman.

If anyone has more information, I would love to hear it.

Former Multi-Cultural Center’s director just doesn’t get it

An audit by the city has proven that Mr. Aware was doing a poor job of running the MCC;

An internal audit of the Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center released today found “many internal control weaknesses” in the area of payroll and accounting.

And what was his response?

Aware had strong words at today’s meeting for Minnehaha County Commissioners and others who he felt had wronged him as the center came under fire. He said he and his family have been discriminated against and persecuted.

“Somebody’s going to be responsible for this,” Aware said.

Yeah, McFly, someone is responsible. YOU! That is why you don’t work for the taxpayers anymore. Pack your shit and do us all a favor and leave our community (and take Janklow with you).

I’ve kept my opinion about Aware to myself, up until this point. Not sure if you have ever had to deal with him, but he is an arrogant bully who should have been canned years ago and it has nothing to do with him being an Iraqi immigrant. He is just a bully. I did a printing estimate for him one time and he accused me of trying to rip him off because he got a lower bid at a different printing company. I explained to him that 1) We used a more advanced printing process then our opponent (you get what you pay for) and 2) how was I ripping him off if we haven’t printed anything yet. He stomped out.

The Multi-cultural mess

I have kept myself from commenting on this cluster f’ck mainly because the topic irritates me so much, I don’t know where to begin. First off, I have often felt that the MCC (which ironically shares initials with Minnehaha Country Club) should have separate ethnic directors to deal with the different ethnic groups and a central director to deal with the finances and day to day operations. Instead they let one person do the job over the past who has zilch in common with the majority of minorities who use the facility (Africans and Hispanics). I think Juan Bonilla says it best;

Some minority leaders say they hope to see one of their own take the reigns at the Multi-Cultural Center.

“We are the only ones that know what are the barriers, what needs are, so that’s very important for a person in that position.” said Juan Bonilla, president of the Spanish Speaking Association.

He is right. How can you serve the different ethnic groups when you are not from that ethnic group? It would be like a white guy running the NAACP. But the past director was only PART of the problem. While the board is quick to blame him, they outta take out a mirror. It would be different if the MCC was a private non-profit, but that is not the case. The MCC has been taking county and city money for years and the board has sat on their hands and let it come to this, kinda reminds you of that whole SE Fair debacle – doesn’t it? Like I said yesterday on one of the Gargoyle Leader threads. When people fail in private business, it is their butts, when people fail us in the public sector, it is our butts. It is time for our public officials to freaking wakeup and start paying attention.

The multi-cultural center audit report

The Gargoyle Leader posted the report, and I found this part underlined for some reason?

Transparency. What’s that?

While all of our mayoral candidates talk about transparency, it seems they want to blame someone else for that lack of transparency;

Taxpayers deserve to see a report about concerns at the Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center, several candidates for Sioux Falls mayor said Thursday.

The report so far is off-limits to the public, but Kermit Staggers and other mayoral candidates say the question of whether it should be released is an easy one.

“That’s a no-brainer,” Staggers said after a mayoral forum. “That Multi-Cultural Center is supported by tax dollars. There should be no question. It should be on the Internet.”

While Staggers is correct, I wonder what steps the council and mayor are taking to make this public? The money we give them alone should be enough to get that document out there.

The Multi-Cultural Center receives about $185,000 a year in city money, according to city budget documents. In addition, the county provides it rent-free space in the former Coliseum building on North Main Avenue, which amounts to $200,000 a year in county support.

Twedt also serves on the Multi-Cultural Center’s board and has seen the report. Although she understands the desire to learn the facts of it, Twedt said it would be up to the Multi-Cultural Center’s board to release it – not her.

Really? You and the city council are elected officials that are supposed to be protectors of our tax dollars. You should be DEMANDING that the report be made public.

New Multi-Cultural Center Board Chairwoman Mary Medema, who was named to her position this week after the resignations, said “that report may not be appropriate for the public.”

Maybe $385,000 dollars in taxpayer support is not APPROPRIATE? After 4 board members resign, and the director is put on administrative leave for over 3 weeks, one would think that not everything is Hunky-Dorry at the multi-cultural center . . . I’m just saying. Either make the report public, or we should cut off the public funding IMMEDIATELY!

That would send a clear message about transparency in government.

Back in the Saddle

I guess Qadir passed the smell test, for now;

The Multi-Cultural Center’s board reinstated Aware Tuesday, but members would not release a report from a University of South Dakota group it hired to review the center and its activities.

Okay, so let’s get this straight, a public university (which receives state money) conducts a a review of a public institution (which receives state, county and city money) and the public is not allowed to see it?

He (Aware) said he prefers to spend money on programming rather than on expensive brochures and advertising, but agreed the center needs to update and improve its Web site.

I couldn’t agree more. But was the money being spent on programming? That is the bigger question.

“If you look at what the people of the community said in these focus groups, and if you can look at the services they are providing and say there are not any problems, then you’ve got your head in the sand,” she (CC Twedt) said.

So why did we wait 13 years to evaluate the center? Seriously. Are we gonna just wait until the bottom falls out before we do anything?

Here we go again, another county agency with bad book keeping?

I have often felt that the Multi-cultural center would be better served with multiple directors that were volunteers representing the different ethnic groups in Sioux Falls, but hey, what do I know, I am just a white bread. I have also been suspicious of Mr. Qadir ‘Show up to city meetings and kiss ass’ Aware. I won’t make any accusations, but after what happened at the fairgrounds, one wonders;

His absence comes at a time when as many as three of the center’s dozen or so board members have resigned, and as the nonprofit undergoes a planned audit and assessment of its ongoing performance in celebrating and assisting the refugee, immigrant and other minority groups in the community.