LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation has allocated 91 percent of its budget for administrative costs, leaving the Lubbock-based non-profit under the microscope once again.
The Lubbock City Council is re-evaluating if it wants to continue to grant the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation city money to operate.
Over the past three years, the KCBD Investigative Team has reported on conflicts of interest, possible embezzlement and the lack of annual audits at the NELCDC, which uses your money to operate.
Henry Manahan lives just off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd nestled next to an empty lot.
"There's not too many houses built around here," Manahan said.
Manahan said he grew up in East Lubbock.
"It's been just like what you see. There needs to be some development. We are right off of Martin Luther King," Manahan said.
The Lubbock City Council agrees.
"There's empty lots out there and to reinvigorate the neighborhood, you need rooftops," said Juan Chadis, Lubbock City Council District 1.
Chadis and several other council members are questioning if giving city dollars to the NELCDC, whose mission is to create, facilitate and promote economic development in north and east Lubbock, is the best way to achieve this goal or, if existing city departments and programs could do more with the same money.
"We need to very closely scrutinize this. Are you duplicating services? And at this point I am leaning towards we are duplicating," Chadis said.
"The areas that need money are not getting that money," said Karen Gibson, Lubbock City Council District 5.
Gibson has consistently voted against granting the NELCDC city dollars because she said the majority of their budget goes toward administrative costs.
"You can't get anything done," Gibson said.
The KCBD Investigative Team requested a copy of the NELCDC's proposed 2017-2018 budget.
The NELCDC plans to spend 91 percent of its budget on administrative costs.
"That's a huge red flag," Gibson said.
It is something Mayor Dan Pope addressed at the most recent city council work session.
"I spent a lot of time in the not for profit sector. If you get over 25% in admin cost, you are on relatively thin ice," Pope said.
We showed the breakdown of this year's proposed budget to Manahan, starting with the executive director's salary.
The executive's salary including health insurance totals $88,525.
"That's a lot and no development," Manahan said.
Then we showed him the total budget of $354,900 and how $266,605 covered personnel costs.
"That is cruel," Manahan said.
The city manager said the council this will go before the council again on September 14th.
Both council members we spoke with emphasized they still want to spend the same dollars in north and east Lubbock, but on projects that produce more tangible results without redundant administrative costs.