THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — LGBT Community Center of Charlotte Board of Trustees Chair Ranzeno Frazier met with several community leaders on Wednesday evening, working to keep his promises to communicate better and address the organization’s current financial and leadership crises.
Media was not invited to the meeting and it’s not immediately clear who attended, but the center released a short statement on its Facebook page afterward.
Be sure to pick up the upcoming June 6 print edition for more on this story, including more in-depth background on the center’s history and its finances, as well as an editorial addressing the current financial and leadership crisis. The issue begins hitting stands Thursday evening and publishes online Friday morning.
In the announcement, the center said board member and former chair Roberta Dunn had resigned. She had come under intense scrutiny over the past several days and weeks. In recent days it became clear that she both knew about the back pay and outstanding payroll tax issues and had failed to properly communicate those issues with her board. Dunn had resigned as chair of the group on May 30, but remained on the board. Frazier was elected chair in Dunn’s place.
Additionally, the center said it has received a 40 percent temporary reduction in rent for the next two months, reducing their rent from $3,500 to $2,100.
[Ed. Note — The original version of this article incorrectly noted the center’s new reduced rate as $1,400. The reduced rate is $2,100. We regret this error.]
The center also said it has been working with a tax consultant and has submitted the necessary forms to resolve its outstanding tax issues.
“A great thank-you to The Community Leaders who attended this meeting and who gave guidance, suggestions, and great feedback for the direction The Center is headed,” the statement reads. “Ranzeno Frazier will be meeting with further Community Leaders. We are excited that the new Chair has hit the ground running…and he isn’t done yet!”
In a separate letter, sent through the center’s email list on Tuesday, Frazier said he understood the importance of creating monthly and annual budgets for the organization.
“With the help of the LGBT Center Community and board I plan on creating goals and initiatives to increase the Centers budget but also the membership and trust that of the community by being 100% transparent. With the relationship that I have with Local City, County, and State councils member I will work closely with them to get funding and also embracing the LGBT Community,” Frazier wrote.
He added, “With my professional and social background I do believe and know that I have what it take to represent not only the LGBT Board but also the community. Please remember I can not change that past, but learn from it to build a promising future.”
Last night’s meeting follows a contentious community meeting held on Sunday. About 60 community members attended, with discussion often emotional and, at times, bitter. Last Friday, qnotes reported that the center had just $650 cash on hand, had failed to pay its sole employee on time and owed at least $7,000 in outstanding payroll taxes to the federal and state governments.
Below, highlights from the Sunday community meeting at the center. You can see video of the full meeting can be viewed here