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Milford Youth Center Director Resigns

Jim Sanchioni, director of the Milford Youth Center, has resigned, following weeks of concern over a deficit estimated at $61,000.

Jim Sanchioni, the two-year director of the has resigned from his position, following questions about financial oversight at the town facility.

The resignation, which he submitted Friday, was accepted by the Milford Youth Commission, said its chairman, Paul Seaver.

Sanchioni said he was not asked to leave, but did so willingly, and said he regretted that he did not keep track of the center's budget. A report prepared for Louis Celozzi stated the budget deficit for the center, as of Sept. 14, was $61,271.10.

Sanchioni, as director, was responsible for oversight of youth programs, as well as the finances.

"Ultimately, it's my responsibility," Sanchioni said. "I didn't handle it correctly."

Programs for children and youth at the center will not be affected by the resignation, both Sanchioni and Seaver said on Saturday. The center will be open for its regular hours.

The center's assistant director, — who had been laid off from his position a few weeks ago, after the deficit was revealed — has agreed to come back to help run the program, Seaver said.

A decision on an interim director, to take Sanchioni's place, has not been made, Seaver said.

Seaver emphasized that the program has grown tremendously under Sanchioni's leadership, and said the resignation was unfortunate. The youth commission board held a meeting Friday night, and accepted the resignation, Seaver said. Members of the commission are appointed by Milford Selectmen, but the commission itself has authority over the center director.

"Jimmy Sanchioni has done an incredible job with the youth center, and with all the kids," Seaver said. "The kids love him. I think he just didn't pay enough attention to the finances."

The primary funding for the Milford Youth Center comes not from the town, but the United Way of Tri-County, which contributed $62,945 to the center in fiscal 2010. By fiscal 2011, which ended June 30, the United Way contributed just $27,999, according to a Youth Center document.

That, and other reductions in contributions, contributed to an unexpected shortfall in revenue for the center's budget.

In a report to selectmen, which is expected to be discussed in greater detail Monday, Celozzi said the center closed out the fiscal year, as he learned on July 27, with a deficit of $48,363.61.

At that time, the town administrator spoke with town finance officials and Youth Center officials, including Seaver and Sanchioni.

"During the discussions, it was reported that revenue sources had been reduced and adjustments had not been made, as of yet, to reduce expenditures," Celozzi wrote.

By Aug. 31, the deficit had grown to $55,021.59. And by Sept. 14, the deficit was $61,271.10, he wrote.

Sanchioni said if he could do anything differently now: "I would have made sure I was up to date on where our budget was."

The town of Milford covers the center director's salary, as a line item, but does not otherwise support the facility, including its programs or building needs. Sanchioni was paid $44,559 in 2010, according to the annual town report.

The center, for free, after-school programs for about 160 children a day.

Its membership has grown over the past two years from 200 to about 800.

Michael Raleigh October 02, 2011 at 04:23 AM
That's a fairly dangerous accusation you are making, Mark. Why do you assume that a budget deficit at the facility means that the facility director was embezzelling money? All a deficit means is that more money was going out for expenses, utitlities, insurances etc. than was coming in from donations - understandable in this economy. Unless you have some insider knowledge or proof, I would refrain from making such a serious claim about someone's character.
Mary MacDonald (Editor) October 02, 2011 at 01:01 PM
The editor can remove comments that are inappropriate, based on our terms of use, which all posters agree to follow when they sign up. And readers also can remove a comment if enough of them agree something isn't fair. In this case, the comment was removed by readers.
unclkebuck October 02, 2011 at 02:24 PM
JIm did a great job with the kids. The summer camp program is excellent. The kids think he's great, he takes an active role running the events & activities. There's nothing sinister going on here, he screwed up on managing the fiscal side and was man enough to admit it. How many politicians out there are willing to do the same?
milfordmom3 October 02, 2011 at 02:38 PM
Jim did a great job with the youth center and made it a great place for the community. All kids from all walks of life enjoyed going there and had a safe place for fun activities. Unless I am mistaken the loss of funds from the United Way was the cause of this situation and Jim has to suffer because of it. This is a great loss to the town.
unclkebuck October 02, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Spot on Kathy!
commonsense October 02, 2011 at 02:56 PM
It is so very simple. The budget was over spent either through incompetence or theft. Those who are responsible need to pay the penalty. By the way kathy and unclebuck, if there is an unlimited budget it is quite simple to make the kids and parents happy. The trick is to do your job and make them happy within the confines of the budget. Any loss of funds from United Way simply means spend less. The next people to go need to be jim's bosses. They are just as responsible for the overspent or missing money!
Bill Dillon October 02, 2011 at 04:30 PM
Not sure what kind of a job Mr. Sanchioni did or did not do, but i did do some work done at the MYC about 2 or 3 years ago for the town ,but Mr. Morin ran the Youth Center at that time and he did a GREAT job. About the over sight of the money all I can say is what happened to the people that was watching the books and money coming and going from the MYC, No book keeping for the last 2 + years ??? As far as the replacement for Mr. Sanchioni, all I can say is that I worked with Sidney, and he loved the kids and the kids loved him, and no I am not related to him and all I know about him is his name is Sidney The other side of the coin was that MYC at that time had a young lady(not sure of her name) but she also was a god send to the youth.She set up 75% of the programs you now have in place--worked with girls--gave them a shoulder to cry on--when they needed one,but was able to run a tight ship at the same time.,so in this respect I say the second person for this job must be a women ,but with some back ground of working with the youth in the area. Yes this center may cost the town a few buks --but in the long run it will save our town $$$ down the road and maybe just maybe give Milford the leaders it is going to need in the future. Yes --Jay didn't have a good idea--he had a GREAT idea.
abc123 October 03, 2011 at 11:51 AM
I am very sad to see Jim leave the youth center. My son attended a week of camp there and had so much fun. Jim treated the kids as if they were his own and always had a smile on his face. Thanks for all you have done Jim, we're sad to see you go. It takes a real man to admit he made a mistake.
imokay October 03, 2011 at 12:07 PM
Jim is a fantastic guy who did an amazing job with the kids and I am sure they are sad to see him go. My daughter went to camp there for most of the summer and he would email all of us parents every day to let us know what they did that day and what was coming up the next day. You will be missed Jim and thank you for everything you have done for the kids of Milford.
Mary Parkin October 03, 2011 at 01:35 PM
I smell foul play and it's not on the part of Jimmy. I wonder how some of the people in this town can look at themselves in the mirror after all the harm they have done/do to others. Another sad day in the town of Milford.
Marsha October 03, 2011 at 03:21 PM
SOOO sad to see you leave Jim!!! The kids all loved him, and he ran an awesome program!
Mom of 2 boys October 03, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Mr. Morin also did a fantastic job, but the place wasn't as clean and organized it was a little dreary. Under Jim, the facility was clean, more invinting, and created more of an environment where kids would WANT to go. This Youth Center is a HUGE asset to the town and the town NEEDS to support it. Not just by giving it lip service, it needs to have some financial backing from the town. It mostly operates on funding from the United Way and private donations. And when those donations don't come in as planned this is what is going to happen. Should he have paid more attention to the budget, yes, I don't think there is one person out there that wouldn't say that, but it's a big loss for the center. I hope the kids will continue to use it. It's a safe place for kids and EVERYONE there does an amazing job with all the kids. I hope people will continue to support it.
Laurie Ainsworth Warich October 03, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Very sad news for the Milford Community! I hope that the board will get their act together and find funding for the Youth Center. The board should have sought funding after United Way was cut. Jim did his job with a huge smile on his face every day! I don't know how you can replace a stand up man like him. Best of luck to you Jim, you WILL be missed tremendously!
MELSAV October 04, 2011 at 12:46 PM
Jim did a great job at the Youth Center. He made it a welcoming place for all the kids of Milford. Its a shame to let him walk away!!
Rhonda Crosby October 04, 2011 at 05:10 PM
I hope the Town of Milford pulls together to keep the Youth Center open for the benefit of the children. It will be such a hardship to alot of Milford families who have come to relay on it, as a safe caring environment for their children. My teenage son attends the Youth Center every day and attended every week of summer camp, he loved it and there is no other place in the Town of Milford that provides the type of after school activities that the Youth Center currently has. I have no idea what happened with the budget, but feel that there should have been more questions and less letting it go to the point of hitting the explosive point of closing its doors. Jim was not only a great director, but a great person and will be missed by all the kids and their parents. Too bad only one person has had to resign from this whole fiasco!!

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