Smart Growth for Vernon, CT
Rockville Downtown Association’s executive director steps down

By Max Bakke
Journal Inquirer
Published: Monday, January 26, 2009 12:47 PM EST

VERNON — The executive director of the local nonprofit tasked with rejuvenating the downtown Rockville area is stepping down from the post he’s held since 2005.

Randy Anagnostis submitted his letter of resignation to the Rockville Downtown Association executive board effective next month, association President Gene Skladnowski said.

But Skladnowski declined to comment Friday on the reason for Anagnostis’ resignation, saying only that the group’s executive board will meet in the coming days and the board of directors will discuss the resignation during its meeting Feb. 13.

Anagnostis, who replaced outgoing coordinator Luise Craige, had been tasked with implementing the association’s mission to promote, preserve, and enhance Rockville’s downtown through economic development and creating partnerships that stimulate growth in the area, according to a recent newsletter from the association.

When reached by phone Friday for an explanation on why he was resigning, Anagnostis declined to comment.

According to federal tax forms, the association is facing declining revenue and has run budget deficits in recent years.

The tax forms — which nonprofits are required to file with the federal government for tax-exempt status and can be obtained through GuideStar, a nonpartisan group that compiles data and rates nonprofits — show that revenues shrunk nearly 45 percent during the three-year period from 2004 to 2007.

The nonprofit boasted revenues of $119,751 during the fiscal year ending in 2005, mostly from public donations. But those figures dipped to only $66,204 by July 2007, according to the data.

Moreover, the downtown association has run a budget deficit of $14,337 and $15,908 in the fiscal years ending in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Those deficits depleted the organization’s assets to $58,623 at the end of the 2007 fiscal year, down from $88,868 in 2005, the data show.

The organization’s largest donor is the town of Vernon, which increased its funding to the association to $35,000 in the current fiscal year, town records show.

Other donors include the Reminder Community News, Rockville Savings Bank, and Rockville General Hospital, whose parent company is Eastern Connecticut Health Network.

Meanwhile, the association’s expenses have fluctuated in recent years, as much of its budget is used to compensate Anagnostis, a Hebron musician and photographer who also runs a management and consulting firm.

Anagnostis was paid $50,328 in 2006-07 — 61 percent of the organization’s expenses that year and 23 percent more than his original salary of $41,000.

By comparison, Craige’s compensation was $38,038 in the fiscal year ending in 2005.

Skladnowski disputed those revenue figures Friday, and said that revenue for the association is actually increasing — despite a national and statewide trend of reduced support for nonprofits due to the sagging economy.

He said he intends to provide the Journal Inquirer with information that suggests revenue figures are actually robust.

The association’s other expenses include $5,884 in rent for the its Park Place office next to Town Hall, $2,757 for printing and other publications, and $35,061 parsed out to the organization’s subcommittees, which comprise members from its 17-member board of directors.

The organization’s directors include William Breslau, a lawyer from the firm Kahan, Kerensky & Caposella; former mayor Stephen C. Marcham; and Robert Kleinhans, a former town councilman who owns a local real estate firm and construction company.

State Rep. Claire Janowksi, D-Vernon, recently resigned from the group’s board of directors, saying she didn’t have the time to commit to the association with the new legislative session beginning this winter. She said she informed other directors months ago of her intent to step down.

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