- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - The leader of a homeless resource center on Maui stepped down after the agency was accused of spending too much on payroll and mismanaging its finances.

The Maui news reported Friday (https://bit.ly/1nol6CZ ) that Rebecca Woods submitted her resignation as CEO of the Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center this week.

The agency had a $1 million deficit in 2012 after it spent $4.5 million but only brought in $3.5 million in revenue. It also owes Maui County about $4 million for a loan made back in 1998 to build a low-income housing facility. No payments have been made on that loan.

The Maui County Council hired an outside firm to launch a study. The firm, Cirrus Asset Management Inc. in Honolulu, found that the agency was significantly overstaffed and that payroll costs were nearly three to four times higher than comparable affordable housing properties on Maui. Woods disputed the accuracy of the report, but said it contained good ideas for improvement. Cirrus made 40 recommendations, including reorganizing staffing and outsourcing landscape maintenance, trash collection and pest control.

When asked about the prospect of the agency repaying loans to Maui County, Board President Marc Chesick said it was a complex question.

“We will take care of our responsibilities to the county,” Chesick said. “We’re working with the county to make that happen.”

Chesick said the accusation that the facility is overstaffed may be accurate. “We are definitely looking into that,” he said.

Woods said the study was “completely inaccurate” in its assessment of how many maintenance workers are needed to maintain the group’s low-income housing facility, and that the maintenance staff had been downsized. Residents there pay about $770 per month in rent.

Woods says she loves the agency and wishes it well as it seeks her replacement.

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Information from: The Maui News, https://www.mauinews.com


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