JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown YMCA held a community meeting Thursday night at the Eastside Family YMCA. The meeting was reportedly conducted by YMCA executive director Mark Eckendorf and was held in response to the firing of former Eastside Y manager Max Martin.
According to the Post-Journal, dozens of city residents attended the meeting to learn more about the future of the Y. The article stated that John Barber, who runs the Eastside YMCA’s middle school academy, will become the facility’s new operations manager.
Eckendorf did not go into details about why Martin was fired. However, Eastside Y advisory board member Dan Soderberg was in attendance and reportedly said some of the local foundations that provide funding for Y programming were not happy with some of the decisions Martin was making while running the Eastside Y and, as a result, had said they would pull funding in 2017.
Advisory board chair Alfonso Pagan was also in attendance to defend Martin and said that a petition is being circulated in the community, stating how the Hispanic community is displeased with the decision to terminate Martin.
The Eastside Y is a branch of the Jamestown area YMCA and has an annual operating budget of $150,000. It’s been learned that a local foundation, which has not been identified publicly, had told the Y it would pull $75,000 in funding for next year, which is half the Eastside Y’s annual budget. Eckendorf said the cut would have made it difficult to continue funding Martin’s manager salary. He also said that the Y will be working to find new funding in 2017 for the Eastside Y.