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claysh@gmail.com

Thursday, October 17, 2013

just read the full page ad of the YMCA in the Ligonier Echo

The ad says:

"we will work with Ligonier Borough to accommodate the parking needs of the new expansion so that the existing public parking near the Y is not overburdened during peak times."; and

 "the Y applied to Ligonier Borough to allow for a 35 space parking lot on 2 vacant lots behind the building - currently 27 cars are parked behind the building during business hours."

This is BS.  The parking the Y intends to create is for Y employees, not members using the facilities.  While the ad indicates that the new parking would allow for an additional 8 spaces [35 less 27], at the public hearing the Y representative said that this had been reduced to an additional 7 spaces.  So what we are talking about is 7 new parking spaces for Y employees.  The existing public parking near the Y is rarely overburdened.  Ligonier Borough would welcome the extra patronage of 7 parked cars in the municipal lot.  Ligonier Borough can use the parking revenue.

The Y is willing to take Ligonier Borough to court over 7 employee parking spaces. I fail to see how this is working with Ligonier Borough.

The ad says:

"Ligonier is the smallest town in the world to have a YMCA! For more than 30 years, the Y has benefitted [sic] the Ligonier Valley and has succeeded despite the unique challenges of a small market and now has more the 4,300 members."; and

"in 2011, the board of directors made the long term existence of the Ligonier Valley YMCA the ultimate goal of the organization and agreed to take on the challenge of making the Ligonier Y self-sustaining."

So what you are saying Y is that even with the tax savings you enjoy as a non-profit, you haven't been able to make ends meet even after increasing your customer base i.e. membership to 4300. This is simple. Your expenses and income are out of balance.  Spending more and borrowing more to dig out of your hole won't work.  Trust me on that.  Only the federal government can get away with that for any length of time and we all know how that's going.  You are only putting off the inevitable day of reckoning and in the process you don't mind stomping on the folks in the "smallest town in the world to have a YMCA!" because your ultimate goal is your own survival.  Funny, I always thought the ultimate goal of YMCAs the world over was "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all."

Ligonier Borough may indeed be the smallest town in the world to have a YMCA but being that small has made Ligonier Borough an easy target for the threat of a devastating lawsuit. I want to call this action by the Ligonier Valley YMCA "non-profit fascism" but I'll settle for calling it an act of bullying by an otherwise laudable organization which has forgotten its core values.