A look back: The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte in 2014

Back to 2014 Year in Review Index…

One of the year’s most important stories surrounded the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte. Here’s a look back at a little over a year’s worth of updates and news on the center’s challenges and steps forward. A full archive of past stories is available here.

November 2013 — Glenn Griffin notifies Roberta Dunn that since May 2013 no payroll tax payments have been made to the federal or state governments.

November 2013 — Community members begin discussing publicly on social media and other platforms various concerns with the center.

December 2013 — Nearly 100 community members attend a town hall meeting to discuss various concerns about the center’s financial stability, transparency and accountability.

January 2014 — New bylaws are released opening board meetings to the public and instituting a new membership structure; members are not given the right to vote in board elections. The center announces that it has just $6,000 cash on hand and may close at the end of February.

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February 2014 — The center holds a second town hall meeting, where similar questions regarding financial stability are again asked. The center hosts its first public board meeting. A new membership structure and fundraising event are announced.

March 2014 — The center board is unable to muster quorum at their monthly board meeting, just three weeks after the board said it might have had to close their doors.

May 21, 2014 — The center board is barely able to meet quorum for their meeting, with only four of seven members participating. Proposals are made to raise money, including a potential $25,000 ask to the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.

May 30, 2014 — qnotes reports that the center has just $650 cash on hand, has not been paying its sole employee on time and owes at least $7,000 in payroll taxes. A group of six community leaders announce they will ask the center board to resign. Roberta Dunn resigns as chair but remains on the board. Ranzeno Frazier becomes chair of the board. The board approves new bylaws reinstating member voting rights in board elections.

May 31, 2014 — The center board holds a closed-door meeting, announces it will not be resigning, that it has paid Glenn Griffin in full and will be addressing its tax delinquencies. The group of six community leaders previously asking the board to resign grows to eight and announces they’ll seek to form a new organization.

June 1, 2014 — A community meeting is held at the LGBT center. About 60 people attend the meeting, with a group of leaders pushing for change meeting with the center board afterward.

June 5, 2014- In response to continued community scrutiny, former board Chair Roberta Dunn announces resignation from the LGBT Community Center Board.  Current Chair Ranzeno Frazier says the community center was able to secure a temporary rent reduction of 40 percent, reducing the payment to $2,100 from $3,500.

June 19, 2014 — The LGBT Community Center of Charlotte announces it has laid off its sole employee as the group continues to work toward resolving outstanding financial and governance issues.

July 24, 2014 — The center announces the appointment of four new board members to help move the organization forward in its strategic planning for 2014 and 2015. The new board members — Clay Smith, Ashley Love, Edward McCray and Nate Turner — join board Chair Ranzeno Frazier and remaining board members Jenny Richeson and Judson Gee.

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August 26, 2014 — The LGBT Community Center had a busy August meeting as it announced it would not renew a lease agreement with its current landlord. The board also unveiled an agreement with a local gym, CrossFit Surgo, that will pay center rent through December, after which, the gym will take full control of the lease and location, resulting in the closing of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte’s physical space.

September 9, 2014 —Mecklenburg County Health Department suspends free HIV/Syphilis testing at the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte shortly after the group announced in August that it will not renew its lease agreement with its landlord. Mecklenburg County moves testing to Regional Aids Interfaith Network (RAIN) offices in Charlotte.

October 16, 2014 — Disagreements emerge among the center board as Chair Ranzeno Fraizer is ousted and replaced with Judson Gee. New board member Clay Smith also resigns from the board on October 6, 2014. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve and support my community provided by The Center, but feel that, personally, it just wasn’t a good fit,” Smith said in a statement posted online the day after his resignation.

November 6, 2014 — Former Board Chair Ranzeno Frazier has agreed to repay almost $600 in questionable expenses during his tenure as chair. The Center also announced that it would not be receiving the remainder of its $19,950 grant from the Charlotte Lesbian & Gay Fund.

November 7, 2014 — Leaders of the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte announce they will strive to remain open. The latest federal tax filings released by the LGBT Community Center of Charlotte show it operated at a significant deficit in 2013, spending nearly all of its revenue on occupancy expenses alone.

November 13, 2014 — Ranzeno Frazier apologizes for his misappropriation of organization funds in a letter delivered to center leaders and forwarded to the newspaper today. “I would like to extend my sincere apologies for decisions and errors that I made concerning expenses and their required approval with the Center,” Frazier’s letter, dated Nov. 12, reads.

December 5, 2014 — qnotes interviews new center board members on their hopes for the future, as the group hopes to rebuild and rebrand.

Read more of our coverage on the LGBT Community Center this year.

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