Heights center forced to close PDF Print E-mail
Written by ALEX ASPACHER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 06 September 2013 10:17
The Perrysburg Heights Community Center did not open today in the wake of an Ohio Attorney General’s Office investigation the group’s leaders say could bankrupt the community association.
The Perrysburg Heights Community Association received a letter on Thursday from the charitable law division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office requesting much of the organization’s records dating back to Jan. 1, 2012, including articles of incorporation, bylaws, board member information and meeting minutes, documentation of programming, a list of assets and rental records for the community center.
Treasurer Jason Craig said legal fees and the cost to acquire several years of bank records will likely drain the remainder of the group’s checking account.
Craig said many of the documents have been missing since the board voted to remove Anita Serda and cease payroll for the executive director position held at the time by Anita’s daughter, Stephanie Serda. He said the work required to produce everything requested by investigators will prevent the center from operating its after-school programs, at least until the Sept. 17 deadline.
“We’re going to provide whatever we can to them, but none of this stuff is here,” he said. “What this is going to cost will cause the financial ruin of this association.”
Craig said Serda’s ouster prompted ongoing efforts to undermine the PHCA. Difficulties were encountered in organizing the group’s yearly festival held last month that he attributed to attempted sabotage.
Leticia Costilla, appointed as a PHCA board member last month, said she attended several meetings earlier this year with residents who intended to “create problems” for the board, some of whom were family members of Anita Serda. That’s when the group began communicating with the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio, which has expressed concerns about the board operating in violation of its bylaws.
“One of the very first questions was how do we abolish the PHCA, and once we do that, how long before we can start our own nonprofit,” Costilla said.
Anita Serda said she her brother-in-law, Abe Ledesma, has been working to organize other residents upset with her removal, though she said she has had no connection to that group and no communication with the Latino Alliance.
“I’m really not involved,” Serda said.
“I can’t be responsible for what seems to be an empowering movement by people in the community who want answers from those on the board now.”
Serda claimed no “ill will” toward the current board, but she said she hopes the state’s investigation uncovers “truthfulness and honesty.”
Craig said he’s committed to continuing PHCA’s mission of helping the neighborhood’s youth, regardless of the impact of the investigation, and would continue offering homework assistance and other functions out of his home if necessary.
Inquiries to the Latino Alliance of Northwest Ohio and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office were not immediately returned.

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