Community members have requested a comprehensive accounting of the Park’s income and outlays. This is a reasonable request, but one which we have not been in a position to undertake until now. Delays were not due to a lack of documentation, but due to the time and expense required to gather and assemble existing records into a clear, comprehensible form – a daunting task necessarily taken on in addition to the day-to-day maintenance, operations, grantwriting, working with the County Planning Department on rezoning, bookkeeping and other responsibilities of the SHCP’s volunteer board.
Now that this task is at last done we are pleased to place it in the public record. This financial history, scheduled to be available at www.sohumpark.org on the "Communications" page by Monday, March 28, provides a general accounting of the use of Southern Humboldt Community Park funds from inception through 2008. Our IRS 990 tax forms have been online for a number of years, but have not provided the accessibility and detail sought by community members. This accounting contains more detailed information than the park is required to provide – above and beyond the scope of what most non-profit organizations release to the general public. The figures released in this document are of course consistent with the figures in our 990s, though the totals sometimes represent different aggregations of the same set of underlying transactions. It is our hope that this financial history makes it easier for our supporters to see clearly how SHCP funds have been used to support SHCP’s non-profit purposes.
All park funds have been allocated towards the non-profit purposes for which the park was formed. The Park abides by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) in all bookkeeping and financial records. Key financial and transaction decisions were made by the board after exercising due diligence in protecting SHCP’s interests and with the advice and consultation of professionals.
Understanding this somewhat complex history of transactions does require some level of financial or accounting expertise. Please recognize that the park board members are not accountants, and take steps to find assistance if you need help in understanding this document.
Reasonable people may disagree on fiscal priorities. With hindsight there is often a temptation to second-guess past decisions. We feel that our decisions and accomplishments speak for themselves. The Park holds title to a remarkable piece of property with tremendous potential for community-based recreation, social, civic, agricultural uses and protected open space. The Park will be a treasure for our community for many generations to come.
We continue to welcome community comments and input on how best to allocate current park resources towards achieving the best outcomes to serve the needs of the entire community at the park.
Kathryn Lobato, SHCP Executive Director