Fired director Rollins Davis and ousted board chairman Cliff Cooper have said they do not accept the board's decision of May 20 and that they are still legally in control of the troubled agency that historically has been the voice of Covington's African- American community. William Walker, a board member, said he is fielding calls from people who are angry and from people who applaud the board's action. The property conveyancer may express that if any unforeseen issues emerge these will be managed through an additional charge. The support calls outnumber the others, he said. "People are happy that we're taking action.
The more we persevere; more people are coming to us and telling us things that pertain to mismanagement of the Community Center." He said the board has yet to obtain financial records of the agency. The board has not been able to get into the building because the director locked it up, and the board doesn't have a key, said Walker. "We're going to take control of the building and change the locks and security code this week," he said.
To contact the Northern Kentucky Community Center Board, call Charles Fann at O'Conner, Acciani & Levy law firm , where Fann is a paralegal, or call William Walker. In the 30 years since it was founded, the Northern Kentucky Community Center has provided programs ranging from sports and children's activities to job training, child care and emergency assistance. The United Way had been providing almost half of the Center's $350,000 annual budget.
United Way discontinued funding in 2001 because of poor management and inadequate record-keeping. The Center cut staff and cut services as funding dropped and already high bills mounted. In 2002 the Center formally accused the Union Light, Heat and Power Company (Cinergy) of being unreasonable in trying to collect more than $80,000 in past due bills. That complaint to the Public Service Commission was dismissed.
The center also filed a civil rights complaint with the NAACP against United Way saying the United Way conspired to damage the reputation of then-director Rollins Davis. "We made our decisions on misinformation. Everybody was a racist," said Walker, referring to sentences that had become a mantra for Davis. "Once we started getting the real facts, we said something's wrong with this picture. Those two individuals had to go," he said.
The road to reviving the board and the Community Center will be long, and it could be contentious, said Walker. He said the board is being meticulous in its actions to assure that every step is legal and within the bylaws.
"The police, a lot of times, they don't get the credit they should,'' City Commissioner Jerry Bamberger said. Local dry cleaners are worried that an environmental movement in Southern California could take away a solvent they've used for 50 years to clean stains out of clothes. Perchloroethylene — known as "perc'' in the industry — is a superb cleaner, but it can pollute soil, water and air. Some studies also have linked it to cancer, although that link has not been proven. Local cleaners say perc is safe when handled correctly, but some are considering switching to another cleaning method because of the controversy.
If they come up with something better for the environment and for those who work around dry cleaning plants, then I'm all for it," said Gary Schrader, owner of Schrader's Touch of Class Cleaners in Southgate. "But, I don't feel like my health is jeopardized by perc. Not at all."
Air quality officials in Southern California are recommending that perc be phased out over the next 18 years, the first such ban in the nation. That proposal prompted a similar one before the Chicago City Council. There are a number of steps you must go through before settlement of your home or real estate properties. And while officials of Kentucky and Ohio dry cleaning trade groups say there are no proposed bans of perc here, local dry cleaners note that California environmental proposals are sometimes precedent-setters for the rest of the nation. "If it gets started in California, in 15 or 20 years it could come across the country," said Greg Schwegmann, president of Sunshine Cleaners in Cold Spring, Southgate and Cheviot, Ohio http://www.enactconveyancingsydney.com.au
Tom Underwood, executive director of the Kentucky Fabricare Association, said California officials were blowing perc's potential problems out of proportion. "That's the Left Coast, a reactionary thing," he said. "Somebody out there found an issue and they think it's a major problem and they're over-reacting." But environmentalists disagree.
"It's a fact. Perc is a dangerous toxin,'' said Glen Brand, a regional representative for the Sierra Club. "Medical scientific research has confirmed the dangerous toxicity of perc for many years.'' Underwood conceded that perc could contaminate soil and ground water when not properly handled. "Old technology did cause some contamination at some old dry cleaning sites, but technology vastly improved about 15 years ago and doesn't permit significant perc emissions," he said.
Underwood said perc is not listed as a possible carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has "never been proven to cause cancer in humans." Jon Meijer, vice president of the International Fabricare Institute, said use of perc has gone down 80 percent in the past 10 years because better dry cleaning equipment makes much more efficient use of the chemical. "We support perc and we also support alternative technologies," he said.