Historical Society of Frankford Annual Membership Meeting

The Historical Society of Frankford (HSF) held the annual membership meeting on March 10th.  Attendance was down on the chilly damp night compared to previous years.  There were enough members present for a quorum that allowed voting to be held for the reelection of three board members.  A brief debate ensued about the process, since no nominations for new board members were accepted from the floor.  The HSF board is under the designated number of 15 at present.  The three board members all retained their seats.

Jim Young, President of the Society, updated the group on the recent problems with the failure of the boiler that closed the building to the pubic for three months.  New equipment was installed at minimal cost due to insurance coverage.  Unfortunately that crisis diverted time away from other projects so it is now time to catch up.

Young discussed several forthcoming opportunities for grants to fund various projects that the Society will be seeking.

Sara Brower gave a 2014 Activity Report for the HSF which highlighted everything that was done in the past year.  It is an impressive list which you can review at these links.   Page  1 and Page 2

Brower also presented a Lantern slide show.  The Magic Lantern was popular entertainment before movies and actually before photography.  These were photographic slides of early scenes of Frankford.

In addition to the monthly meetings on Tuesday there are two special events coming up in April.  There will be a fundraiser organized by undergraduate students from LaSalle University who are working with the HSF board on long range marketing goals.  The event will be held in conjunction with the Society for Creative Anachronism and will be held on Sunday, April 19th at 3PM.  Will details will be forthcoming.

The HSF will also be holding a fund raising event on Sunday, April 26th at 3PM.  This will be a piano recital by Joseph Krupa.  Details to be announced.

The next meeting of the HSF will be on April 14 at 7:30PM on the subject of 19th Century Medicine.

 

 

  • Joseph J. Menkevich

    I was very disappointed in the Historical Society of Frankford’s annual meeting and have been for several years.

    At this annual meeting, nominations from the floor were obstructed by President James Young.

    Present leadership does not understand Pennsylvania Non-Profit Law or the By-Laws of HSoF.

    Act 1990-198, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes,

    specifically states in sect (c) on page 943:

    “Nomination of officers.—Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, officers shall be nominated by a nominating committee or from the floor.”

    Present leadership, (if it can be called leadership) has not provided full financial details on the cost of operating the HSoF web-site which heavily advertised and promoted the “Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame.”

    Present leadership also has not provided any budget or business plan.

    Present leadership has long been concealing the true state of the Society’s finances which are dismal.

    Debbie Klak was the last president of the Society making applications for Grant Money.

    She brought the Society out of the ashes with budget and a plan. She left in 2009: .

    Pastor Paul Andell became president of HSoF in 2010.

    He had no business plan and never applied for any grants but approved all expenditures for his personal friends within the “Northeast Philadelphia Hall of Fame,” (a money sucking instrument) which never returned a penny to the Society.

    Rev. Paul Andell sold his properties, left his church and moved out of Philadelphia. Of course he got a glamorous write up: .

    Former member of the board, Betsey Manning had a few words to say about HSoF’s finances: ” The financial situation is not good. As a member, my initial questions were about membership and donations. I was surprised to hear that funds from these sources barely register in the Society’s revenue. There are only a little over 100 members!

    The Society operates with an annual deficit of $40,000-$50,000. The majority of grants they receive are for specific projects (archiving and library supplies, for example), notoperating costs. The only specifically operating-expense grant they received was for $6,636 from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Another grant, from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, for $63,000 is for much-needed building restoration projects: to renovate the building’s exterior, fix leaks and improve its energy efficiency. Another $15,000 came from the PHMC for library support and $5,000 more from another state agency for library equipment. Considering it costs the Society over $68, 000 in annual operating costs, it’s no wonder they are in the red.”

    In the past two years I have filed several complaints with the Society about their mismanagement and failure to give access to their financial records. Jim Young’s response was to hire a lawyer to “blow me off.”

    I then filed several complaints with the State Attorney General concerning the Society’s mismanagement, lack of transparency & concealment of records.

    Nothing ever came of it, as the Attorney General’s response to my complaints was that “it is not a crime to go bankrupt.”

    J.M.