Toledo Blade calls out local YMCA/JCC for overpaying employees

The salaries of top employees at the YMCA and Jewish Community Center of Greater Toledo – as well as those of employees in the entire state — are under scrutiny as the YMCA/JCC announced that it will close one of its branches due to overhead outpacing revenue.

The YMCA/JCC – the product of the first merger of a Jewish Community Center and a Christian YMCA –  is closing its South Toledo branch because its expenses outweighed its revenue by more than $300,000 per year. The closure also comes in the midst of a $800,000 cut of the system’s budget in Ohio.

The Toledo Blade is calling out the system for making its cuts not taking a harder look at the salaries of its top employees.

But a survey by The Blade shows that the YMCA’s president and chief executive officer, Robert Alexander, is the highest-paid executive of any social-service organization in the Toledo area, as well as the highest-paid president/CEO of all YMCA systems in Ohio.

Mr. Alexander, who became CEO in 1989, is paid $265,441 a year, according to the organization’s latest tax filing in 2007, with his total compensation package pegged at $298,000.

He leads an organization with an annual budget of $29.8 million as of 2007, including $4.8 million in government grants for programs that help vulnerable low-income residents.

An assistant for Mr. Alexandertold The Blade yesterday he would not discuss his compensation, and referred questions to Paul Sobb, a certified public accountant and chairman of the YMCA board’s compensation committee.

Later reached at his home in suburban Lambertville, Mr. Alexander said, “Guess what, man, I’m off!” and hung up the phone.

The Blade also calls out Silverman for employing his wife as the organization’s senior vice president of development at a salary of $130,807 – the organization’s second highest salary — and his daughter-in-law as the executive director of another Y branch at a salary of $85,686.

The JCC/YMCA responded that everything is above board and is reported on the organization’s 990 tax form.

“We have the proper governance in place so that everything is being done above board and correctly,” Mr. Sobb said. “Nonprofit organizations can lose their nonprofit status if there are excess of compensation issues.”

The Blade also points out several other nonprofits for overpaying its employees, including the local food bank and the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Golf Classic.

Writes the Blade:

For every dollar of net proceeds the golf classic generates, 90 cents goes to pay the salaries and benefits of the classic’s executive director, Judd Silverman, who is paid $180,000 a year; the classic’s namesake, Jamie Farr, who receives a $30,000 stipend, and Sandy White, the director of operations, who is paid $60,000, according to the nonprofit organization’s most recent tax filing.

The golf classic — which in 2007 collected $4.3 million in revenues and spent $3.7 million putting on the tournament — regularly promotes itself as a charitable organization that has given more than $6.2 million to 100 community groups since its inception 25 years ago.
 

NEXT STORY