By: Diane Benjamin
Do I really need to re-tell the whole SAGA of Chris Koos and Pam Reece misleading the Council about the tax status of National Fitness Campaign? I’m not going to, WGLT finally did a story that will refresh your memory: (did they write it because of my story yesterday or because they actually care?)
Interestingly WGLT included a link to where Koos might have gotten his information: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/22e4bebfd7f94952aae3d8f525c62595
If you click that link now it no longer says non-profit. It is also not a website connected to National Fitness Campaign. It is a page on the website for Escondido California!
Why does it no longer say non-profit? Because I emailed Joanna Axelrod, the Deputy City Manager and asked why her website says they are a non-profit. I received a response within 10 minutes from her:
Hello Ms. Benjamin,
Thank you for your question and for pointing out this inaccuracy on the storymap. I followed up directly with NFC and found out that they are actually structured as a consulting firm and their tax status is for-profit. Here’s a description they provided in answer to your question.
NFC is a for-profit wellness consulting firm. We have a double bottom line, as our mission is to make world class fitness free, and a significant share of our work each year is developing grant funding from partners and sponsors at the national and state level each year to assist communities. In addition, our services for awardees include assisting with local funding development efforts.
This funding is distributed to qualifying cities and schools each year across the country, who apply through our Grant Program to join the campaign and improve access to wellness infrastructure, supporting positive population health outcomes. See more about our grant program and sponsors here: National Fitness Campaign | Grants (Update)
I will be updating the storymap to remove the reference to “non-profit”.
|Joanna Axelrod Deputy City Manager/Director|
Communications & Community Services City of Escondido
Direct: 760-839-4871 | Mobile: 760-889-9430 www.escondido.org
The only question remaining is how Chris Koos ended up on their site during the meeting.
Try searching for National Fitness Campaign – the NFC site is listed first.
Try adding “non-profit” to the search, “storymaps” is still not at the top of the search results, it’s not even on the first page. (I didn’t look further)
Did Chris Koos intentionally read from the Escondido website because it said what he wanted to state?
Only he can answer why he read false information off a city website in California.
Maybe friends in the US Conference of Mayors gave him that site?
There must be a re-vote at the next meeting. This would not have passed on January 4th if the truth would have been told, the vote would have been a tie.
Karyn Smith should recuse herself since she wasn’t present at the January 4th meeting. She can not use this opportunity to ingratiate herself to Koos when she wasn’t involved in the original discussion.