Translated SeungYeon Woo / Written By Hyun Cheon Kim
Recently, the Korean-American Community Center of New England Trust (KACC Trust), which originally belonged to the Korean Society of New England (KSNE), tried to be separated as a nonprofit organization, and this is causing controversy in Korean society in New England.
There have been divergent opinions about the issue of KACC Trust separating from KSNE. Some have been questioned, ‘Why is the Korean Community Center under the different organization’s ownership?’ or ‘If the reason to be separated is for tax exemption, then why does it have to be so since KSNE is already a nonprofit organization?’
Actually, Korean-Americans in New England do not know that the ownership of the Korean Community Center is under KACC Trust, not KSNE. One of them, Jeong, from Lexington, is confused about this fact saying, “If KCC doesn’t belong to KSNE, whose is it?”
Moreover,Korean-Americans who are actively involvedin KSNE do not understand completely about the accurate information of the ownership and tax issues of the Korean Community Center.
Thus, it is expected to see a conflict among the parties concerned about the issue of ‘whether KACC Trust is under KSNE or not.’If KACC Trust is affiliated with KSNE, then it hasto be approved by the board of directors according to the bylaw of KSNE. Also, in order to set upKACC Trust, the bylaw has to be changed and thus the organization has to be approved by the general assembly.
According to some membersof KACC Trust, they already have been approved as an independent organization by the board of directors 2 years ago; however, there is not any article about an independent organization in the bylaw of KSNE.
The construction committee or management committee of the Korean Community Center is stated as being a special permanent establishment that belongs to KSNE butany law aboutKACC Trust does not exist.
Ok-hyun Jeon, a director of KSNE board of directors, said, “The KACC Trust is arguing that they are independent from KSNE but we must find out that what they’re saying is truly based upon the bylaws of KSNE.”
KACC Trust states their position that right after they bought the Korean Community Center two years ago, in order to manage the building and leftover funds, they organized ‘Korean-American Community of New England Trust’ as an independent organization and they were finally approved by the board of directors. Also, the former chairman of KSNE board of directors supported the members of the Trust thusly: “When KACC Trust was organized in 2010, the board of directors approved it as an independent organization.”
KACC Trust is the organization that manages rental income from the building, donations and all sorts of maintenance. According to one of the members, Song-kun Kim, the Korean Community Center is owned by KACC Trust and the Trust has its own bank account and separatedfinancial structure from KSNE.
The Trust was set up by the members of the building committee of the Korean Community Centerwhen they bought the building. It is understandable that the Trust has the ownership of the building and responsibility as long as they are under the regulation of KSNE. The members of the Trust were devoted to build the community center through donating their own money and time and raising funds among the community.
However, KACC Trust recently decidedto register as a nonprofit organization separating from KSNE in order to get tax exemption and protect possible loss. Until now, the Trust has received the benefits of being a nonprofit organization at the city of Woburn’s discretion that the building belongs to KSNE.
Edward Kim, the president of the advisory committee of KSNE, is displeased with the fact that there iscontroversyamong Korean-Americans due to the Korean Community Center. He says that if the matter is tax exemption, then why not givethe center’s ownershipback to KSNE, and also, if any problem occurs in the center, then it is for KSNE to solve.
Moreover, according to a member who knows well about the inside matters of KSNE, if KACC Trust actually became separated from KSNE, they should have let Korean-Americans know at that time about the fact and procedure through a newspaper or a public hearing. Also, since the bylaw of KSNE has to be changed for setting up KACC Trust, it should have been approved by the general assembly.
Another Korean-American, J, from Melrose, MA, pointed out that, “I think that the problem of pushing ahead the plan of building the center without any specific operating regulation of the construction and trust committee has now been revealed. There should be a public discussion about accurateoperating bylaws of the Korean Community Center.”
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지