The 2012 West Indian-American Day Carnival will likely happen without state funding, CaribNews reported. Missed financial reporting deadlines and turmoil within the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association spell trouble for the annual Labor Day celebration.
State Senator Kevin Park, a Brooklyn Democrat whose district is home to a large Caribbean immigrant community, attended a CaribNews editorial meeting where he spoke about the celebration and the question of funding.
“It’s unfortunate but from all indications, New York State is highly unlikely to contribute financially to the staging of the carnival celebrations this year. That’s not good news at all because the carnival injects hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy,” said [Parker].
Thomas Bailey, WIADCA’s leader, said that despite the late hour, there still remained a possibility of receiving state funding, CaribNews reported. State legislators say WIADCA has transparency issues and has missed funding application deadlines. Senator Parker said the WIADCA did not apply for funding by the March deadline because they might have needed money from other sources.
“The West Indian carnival is important to the state of New York and it needs all the financial help it can get help, but there is a need for greater transparency and accountability, a problem which WIADCA must resolve,” [Parker said].
Elected officials said WIADCA has failed to submit spending reports from previous years and ignored subsequent requests from individual legislators.
According to elected officials in Albany, state funds running into hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years were provided to WIADCA for the week-end of celebrations but comprehensive audited reports on how the money was spent have so far not been presented to Albany.
The absence of such reports from WIADCA could prove to be a major hurdle to future funding, complain officials.