Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Firefighter families don’t steal

EDITOR:

In today’s current economic times and with the facts that clearly show how the men and women of our public safety agencies are too fighting to keep their jobs, it is disgusting to read the comments made by the director of the Food Bank of El Dorado County that claim that the fire department is taking from the poor by not giving the food bank a handout in waving their fees to build a fancy new facility. Perhaps the food bank should look back and see how many cans of food that the departments collect during Christmas each year with their Santa runs and food drives, and many of them volunteer their time to do this and help the homeless in their town.

There are many great charities in our county and all of them should be grateful to those that help, not insult them with such comments. Why should one charity get free fire fees when others don’t? These are fees that are used to staff our stations, maintain equipment and make it possible to respond to fires and medical aides, and most importantly save lives.

BRENDA LEE
Shingle Springs

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 11 comments

  • James WorleyMarch 04, 2013 - 9:51 pm

    I believe that these fees should be waived or reduced for all charitable organizations such as the Food Bank. The food drives are a great help to provide for those in need and a very special thanks should go to the Fire Department for all of their efforts. However, cans of food do not pay for the $32,000 dollars in fire department fees in building a new building in El Dorado County. The only way the Food Bank continues to provide the level of service to feed 10,000 people a month on a low budget is by the help of the community.

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  • chrispytahoeMarch 06, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    I know I am going to get alot of crap for this, but Firefighters are overpaid underworked civil servants. I have friends who are firefighters that will tell you this. Heros? My azz. It is a job that requires risk. So what? So do alot of jobs. Making 6 figures for sitting around 50% (or more) of the time is an insult.

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  • Gerald LillpopMarch 06, 2013 - 5:20 pm

    I volunteered at the Food Bank and can tell you Mike is not the sort of person who would insult firefighters or their families. He is passionate about the mission of the Food Bank and so he spoke in a less than diplomatic way in regard to construction fees. I assure you that Mike is a dedicated and well meaning. Mike has and is instrumental in helping thousands of people in El Dorado County every day who are either food deprived or on the cusp of being food deprived. I think we should all be able to accept that Mike meant no disrespect to firefighters or their families. I know I can.

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  • Randy RMarch 06, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    Must be nice to go out and make statements and insults to others then have your employees and volunteers vouch for you. A real person might step up to plate and admit they spoke like true arrogant idiot,to put it lightly rather then have your volunteers do your dirt work. Mr. Sproull., why don't you grow a pair and come to the next meeting and stand up and apologize yourself? This is just stupid, everyone who builds needs to pay the price the food banks no different rules are rules however one will usually catch more flies with honey then vinegar and perhaps the public idiocy in the manner of the request last week likely didn't help. Get over it food bank, pay the fees like the rest of the people have And keep our firefighters employed. As for them being over paid? Remember that the next time your in need and they save your life sir....

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  • Brenda LeeMarch 06, 2013 - 9:21 pm

    Chrispytahoe, your comments are beyond tacky and don't warrant a response. Would you like someone making minimum wage making a life or death decision if you were the one injured and as for the hero comment my father was in fire and now both my husband and my son are one in Camino and one in EDH and yes to me they are heroes. In response to jim worley are you a volunteer for the foodbank also? it doesnt seem right to deny food donations because for some of us it is all we can do and i am sure county and state funding and grants can help the food bank with its funding needs and why is the food coalition even building a new building when there are a number of empty buildings sitting out there in our economy anyway?

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  • Gerald LillpopMarch 07, 2013 - 1:09 am

    Randy R how many people do you feed on a daily basis? Mike did not ask me to respond to this letter. I don't even know if he knows that I have. My point is Mike Sprouls was speaking to a FEE that is extracted in order to put up a building. He was not speaking about firefighters or their families. Whether you agree with the construction fee extracted from anyone building in Cameron Park/ Shingle Springs or not Mike was not being disrespectful of firefighters or their families. And $35,000 could go a long way to helping those among us who need the services that Mike and the El Dorado Food Bank provides. So in closing calm down. No one is attacking firefighters just construction fees.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieMarch 07, 2013 - 8:56 am

    Mr Lillpop -- There appears to be several issues in play. One is the alleged statements by Mr Sproull...I see nothing in the referenced article that is "disgusting". Another is the fee; I understand it has been waived and/or reduced for other entities in the past. Another is the Fire Department's budget shortfall. Another is the question of Mr Sproull being "overpaid and unqualified"...ie a question of the Food Bank's efficiency and effectiveness. This last issue is something that should interest everyone in the county because if the Food Bank -- like any non-profit organization -- is poorly run it should be starved of taxpayer, charitable, and volunteer contributions; a form of market forces working on this sector is very healthy in my opinion.

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  • Gerald LillpopMarch 07, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    Mr, MacKenzie to my knowledge the El Dorado Food Bank is funded thorough grants and private donations. As to the efficacy of the Food Bank ask any of the thousands of El Dorado County residents who rely on the generosity of El Dorado County Food Bank and the companies and individuals who donate to the Food Bank if Mike Sprouls is doing a good job. If as you say the building fees have been waived or reduced for other entities then the El Dorado County Food Bank is surely worthy of such considerations. For the record Mike Sprouls is not a diplomat. He is an out spoken advocate for feeding the hungry in El Dorado County. Any attempts to smear Mike or call his motives in to question are beneath contempt. When I read in this newspaper about the $35,000 fee that is charged when anyone or any business wants to build in Cameron Park/.Shingle Springs I was horrified and stunned (the reasons for this are not important).We as a community should be able to acknowledge that the work and mission of Mike Sprouls and the Food Bank as worthy of an exception from these fees.

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  • EvelynMarch 07, 2013 - 2:22 pm

    Mr. Lillpop: The Food Bank, a 501(c)(3)non-profit, provides no financial information at their website which would make it possible to form even the most superficial opinion about their management practices. They are not alone. Many other non-profits, though receiving public (i.e. taxpayer) money, likewise fail to put in place practices reassuring the public of their accountability. The IRS says this: "By making full and accurate information about its mission, activities, finance, and governance publicly available, a charity encourages transparency and accountability to its constituents. The Internal Revenue Service encourages every charity to adopt and monitor procedures to ensure that its . . . annual reports, and financial statements, are complete and accurate, are posted on its public website, and are made available to the public upon request." In no way do I suggest or have any reason to believe that the Food Bank is guilty of a shred of malfeasance. I do, however, strongly believe that public accountability should be demanded of all non-profits. Mostly they are tax exempt, and increasingly they are receiving large sums of taxpayer money. I have been unable to get a handle on just how much taxpayer money is given to the non-profits, but at a guess, I would say that nationally, overall, the figure may be in the $billions.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieMarch 07, 2013 - 7:23 pm

    Mr Lillpop -- Those grants are taxpayer dollars. I agree with Evelyn -- all non-profits should publish the data recommended by the IRS. And the public should only support those that operate efficiently. Any NP that refuses to publish the data should be considered a scam... My understanding is the Food Bank does a good job, with an admin rate of less than 7%, but the info should be published. Let them compete for our contributions.

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  • DebbieMarch 07, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    As a non profit the food bank has a board of directors. I have difficulty understanding how a board condones such unacceptable behavior of its designated manager especially in a public forum? i agree with Evelyn all non profits should make their records public such as their financial statements, employee salaries and expenses and the names and affiliations of all members of its board.I personally don't want to donate money if the majority of such funds are not going to the cause and instead to things such as elaborate offices, salaries etc. it's concerning to see an organization asking to be exempt from fees then coming out and saying things like cans of food won't pay the bills. A food bank provides food right? any donations should be appreciated regardless of its size or nature always.

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