Deception or shell game? Something is not kosher in Mission Viejo

Not that I wish to beat up on the Mission Viejo Community Foundation but I just received a response to my latest Public Records request that is troubling to me and probably anyone else who follows Mission Viejo CIP’s.

My request related to data regarding the Organization and history of the Foundation since it’s formation in 2005. I had requested to see specific documentation on their raising of $285,000 in new grant funds” that was listed along with a request for additional funding. The “unnamed” Grant was included as one of their accomplishments on behalf of the city.

Time out!  The city, in supporting the Foundation, assured all of us that the Foundation was an “independent, non profit, public benefit corporation.”

The city has it’s own staff who request and have successfully received Grants for three community projects that I can name. The Sierra Recreation Center, the Montanoso Recreation Center and $3 million for the expansion of the Norman P Murray community and Senior Center. That said why is the Foundation getting credit for our receiving $285,000 in Grant funds from the California State department of Parks and Recreation for the Oso Creek Trail project?

Are they functioning on behalf of the city to apply for and chase down Grant funding when we are to stay arms length away?

Are they getting credit for work actually performed by city staff to enhance their resume of accomplishments?

While I cannot answer these questions today, I do get the impression that something is not kosher in this accomplishment that needs to be exposed and questioned further.

About Larry Gilbert