Table View Angels must be 100% transparent

Karen Davis, Greater Table View Action Forum chairwoman

Following on from the article published last week about Table View Angels (TVA), our management committee held our monthly meeting last week where this was discussed (“Angels, homeless fallout over funding,” Wednesday, July 28).

It is of great importance to us as an organisation that TVA succeeds and does the right thing as we were involved with Ankarien in the beginning, after she had faced rumours, bad publicity before. We advised her to register TVA as a non-profit as well as draw up a constitution and appoint directors, in order to have a legal status.

We watched her grow and become a fantastic organisation, assisting those in our community who are in need, and we celebrated her dream of establishing The Angels House as a refuge and safe haven for people in need.

I believe things went really well for the first while. The directors appointed were doing a good job, and people’s confidence in the Angels grew as did the amount they were being donated monthly. The counselling directorate was fantastic and helped many people. Sadly, the house never ran according to rules and regulations, and trouble has been brewing for a long time about this.

However, over the past two years, I and other members of our management committee have received differing and disturbing reports from various members of the community. Unfortunately much of this is and was hearsay, but there were many consistent complaints, too many to be “sour grapes” or nastiness.

Here are some of the problems I see:

In their constitution, it states, in point 8, paragraph 8.3: “The management will be made up of not less than 10 members who shall be the office bearers of the organisation.” This has not been the case for a very long time.

Point 9, about the executive committee is very vague and no number of directors is specified. Currently there are two, to my knowledge, with Ankarien as the CEO.

Given that they operate with public money, I believe it is essential that they are 100% transparent about the finances. We also have a very big problem that given that they decided to seek accommodation for the Angel House elsewhere, the very first thing they should have done is approach the City, through their councillor and request that their departures be given priority as they had people in the house that they would need to take with them, rather than put them out on the street. It is very concerning that the departures have not even been applied for as yet. This could take months, in essence, of public money funding a house that can help nobody.

If I could offer any advice (unfortunately I have tried in the past on other issues and it was not welcomed, so I will attempt to do so here) it would be that the entire structure that governs TVA be changed. I sit on the board of directors for the Montague Gardens, Marconi Bean Improvement District (MMID), and we have three full-time staff and a board of five that meet every month to discuss and decide on all matters pertaining to the MMID and its business. We are guided by City processes, and it is essential when dealing with public money.

Ankarien should remain CEO, but she should have a board of no less than five members from the community and her organisation that make the decisions. The majority should be people not affiliated with TVA and stand to gain nothing.

We truly believe if these measures are put in place, TVA will grow and prosper and there will be no room for gossip, malicious or otherwise.

I hope that this sheds some light.

Table View Angels received this letter on Wednesday August 4 but did not respond before this edition went to print.