9/11 Memorial Committee responseOctober 5th, 2011 by Steven Gardner
In response to today’s story about the 9/11 Memorial Committee, Bremerton City Councilman Jim McDonald sent this note out to the folks you see listed here.
From: Jim McDonald
Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 9:21 AM
To: City Council; Mayor Lent; Wyn Birkenthal
Cc: Dave Fergus; Roy Lusk
Subject: 9-11 Committee Update
Based on the recent press regarding the 9-11 Memorial Committee, I wanted to give you an update from the last report where I discussed the resignations.
First of all, I was shocked and disappointed to see the accusations in the Kitsap Sun this morning by the former committee members. The remaining committee volunteers continue to do incredible things and expend a ton of their own time and money to this cause. You only need to look back to the 10-year anniversary event last month to see the types of things this group can accomplish.
As the committee has grown and collected more funds, they have taken steps to improve the organization. Earlier this year (or late last year) the committee had been in contact with a CPA for assistance. The current treasurer has been working with the CPA to review the committee procedures. While the committee already had some good financial controls in place (like two people required to sign checks), they are also moving to improve the financial reporting by migrating from a notebook with receipts and bank statements to QuickBooks. This will allow for easier reporting and monthly reconciliation. By the time this is completed, they will have financial controls better than most non-profit organizations.
While the focus the last couple of months has been on the successful Memorial and Groundbreaking ceremonies, Dave Fergus and Wyn Birkenthal have been recently discussing the process to arrive at the final design. I expect that effort to begin shortly. Once complete, I also expect that much of the labor and material needed for the Memorial will come from in-kind donations. For example, the trucking company that has been moving the two World Trade Center beams to all the events and parades has done it all for no charge. All the chairs and most of the cost for the expensive sound system were donated for the Memorial ceremony. Proceeds from concessions were donated to the Committee. The list of community support goes on and on.
Since the resignation of the committee members, there have been more people attending the committee meetings and there have been more volunteers. In fact, at last night’s 9-11 committee meeting, we had a lot of the volunteers join the committee with comments that a lot more folks would like to be on the committee. To keep the organization from getting too big too fast, the committee passed a motion to limit the current size of the committee to 30 members.
I remain totally convinced that this organization will complete the Memorial. The organization is filled with people with integrity and who remain extremely dedicated and passionate about this cause. As the City Council appointee to 9-11 Memorial Committee, I am very proud to be associated with this group. Please feel free to attend a committee meeting and see for yourself.
Bremerton City Council