WRAP bylaws up for review

WARREN – Warren Redevelopment and Planning Corp. was meeting this morning to discuss reducing the size of its board.

In a letter to board members sent out June 5, Kim Phillips, chairman of WRAP Corp., said the purpose of the meeting will be to amend its bylaws to reduce the number of board members from 25 to no fewer than nine.

“Other bylaw changes could be addressed,” Phillips wrote. “A copy of the new bylaws will be sent to you prior to the meeting.”

Among the other proposed changes are that meetings be held twice a year. The current bylaws have no requirement, as evidenced by the agenda for today’s meeting, the first item of which is to review the minutes from its last meeting, which was Nov. 25, 2008.

Councilman Greg Bartholomew, D-4th Ward, was contacted by WRAP’s President Anthony Iannucci Monday afternoon and invited to the meeting.

Bartholomew, who said he has never been invited to attend a WRAP meeting, said he plans to attend.

Fellow Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd Ward, has been a vocal critic of the development organization, and last month sent a letter to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office asking for an investigation of WRAP, Sunshine of Warren Trumbull Inc. and Warren Parking Systems LLC.

“These entities have shown a history of a lack of open board meetings without available minutes and the barring of public attendance and refusal to provide administrative and financial information to the Warren City Council,” Novak wrote in the May 10 letter.

The three organizations are all headed by Iannucci.

Novak began questioning what has been happening at WRAP after learning that the organization had not had a full board meeting in years. The councilman also said he was concerned about the number of properties purchased by WRAP and the cost of the projects over the last 10 years.

“We (council) were never given a status of the loans,” he said. “We are basically stonewalled that it is a private nonprofit organization, but it receives loans and grants from the city. Citizens should be fully aware of what is going on with WRAP. It needs a top to bottom audit.”

Efforts Monday to reach Iannucci and Phillips were not successful.

WRAP was created in the early 1980s to spur downtown Warren development. Among recent renovation projects it has been involved in are the Wean Foundation’s new headquarters, National Fire & Water Repair building and the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center – all on Courthouse Square.