MVCS faces $400,000 gap for 2009-2010
Martha's Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) will cut staff salaries, benefits, and hours as part of a strategy meant to address a drop in revenue, 2009 and 2010 budget deficits totaling about $400,000, and uncertainty over future government reimbursements for a range of social programs.
"The Vineyard is not immune from what is going on in the rest of the country," Julia Burgess, MVCS executive director, told The Times in a telephone call yesterday. Ms. Burgess said the cuts followed much soul searching and discussion in an effort not to hurt clients and minimize the impact on staff she described as "highly committed and highly qualified."
Ms. Burgess said she hopes that by taking these steps MVCS, the multi-agency social service organization that has been on the Vineyard for almost 50 years, will weather the economic storm.
MVCS staff members learned of the cuts in a two-page memo from Ms. Burgess received Monday and titled, "Fiscal year 2010 budget."
"On July 2, 2009, the board of directors passed the fiscal year 2010 budget for MVCS," the memo began. "It was a process which required difficult choices, but it was unanimously felt that at this time the options chosen are the best for ensuring services for the island community and for preserving the future of MVCS."
On June 30, MVCS ended the FY 2009 year with revenue of $5,229, 324, expenses of $5,461,764 and a deficit of $232,440 that is expected to grow once the books are officially closed.
The MVCS FY 2010 budget projects $4,814,299 in revenue, $4,964.275 in expenses and a deficit of $150,976.
The memo identified increasing revenue as an overriding concern as it addresses three goals: maintaining programs and services; keeping staff as whole as possible as expenses must be reduced; and stopping or at least slowing down the rising deficit.
MVCS announced the cuts in a press release sent yesterday.
"We knew we were facing reductions in our overall budget, but it took considerable analysis in making what were hard choices, as well as patience," said Susan Wasserman, MVCS board president, in the release. "The State, with whom we have a number of contracts, was slow to give us definitive information. This made our decision making even more difficult."
Ms. Burgess said, "Approaching its fiftieth anniversary in 2011, MVCS is fortunate to have some reserves and therefore, while having to cut back, has been able to address this climate in a planned and thoughtful way. Our Board has worked hard this year to secure additional private donations; the staff has significantly cut expenses, and we are facing the future with renewed optimism."
Cutbacks include a combination of program and salary cuts.