Today’s news:

Nonprofit heads must give up perks

TimesLedger Newspapers

It is disappointing that City Councilmen David Greenfield (D-Brooklyn) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), in the April 19-25 story “Proposed bill blocks trash charge for culturals,” would prevent the city from charging so-called private nonprofit groups for paying for trash and recycling.

Before shedding any tears for private, nonprofit institutions when they protest having to pay for trash and recycling, check out their respective organization finances, especially salaries to their executive management teams.

Too many executives of nonprofits earn a base salary of $700,000. Some even earn more than $1 million per year. This is supplemented by bonuses, generous health plans, subsidized housing and retirement packages equivalent or greater than the president, governor, mayor, public officials, many private sector corporate executives and ordinary citizens combined.

In many cases, these institutions pay excessive funds to public relations firms and lobbyists hired to go after grants from the city, state and federal governments. Professional fund-raising firms end up taking a greater percentage of donations meant for the nonprofits. In many cases, the percentage is shocking.

In these lean times, executives of nonprofits can set an example for others. They could take a pay cut and donate some of the excessive compensation or consider giving up some of the perks to help their institutions’ bottom lines.

Why can’t the thousands of nonprofits collectively afford to pay the estimated $17 million cost for trash and recycling? In essence, they are recycling a small portion of the hundreds of millions they collectively receive in city, state and federal grant monies back to the public treasury.

Do Greenfield and Van Bramer have any conflicts of interest by accepting campaign contributions from employees of the same organizations who might benefit from their proposed legislation?

Larry Penner

Great Neck, L.I.

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