Letter: NEON leaders don’t respect staff, clients

By Dale Ferguson

To the Editor

We as board members have been disappointed at the lack of respect that Mike Berkoff and Tommie Jackson have for staff, children, our families served and constituents within the communities that we serve. Each of them believe that they are running a private company and they are wrong. We are running a community action agency. And, as a board, it is our job to do what is right for community.

Many people have made false statements, given false accusations, and given false testimony about people, places and things within the organization for self-gain and self-purpose. We as board members joined the board to make a difference. We will not apologize to Mike Berkoff or Tommie Jackson for not being their puppets.

It is our understanding at this present moment, that even though the organization is closed today, there are several meetings taking place right now that many board members are not aware of. However, the community makes sure that we are aware.

I have attached the communications from several board members in reference to Tommie Jackson’s & Mike Berkoff’s statement that we have been dismissed from the board. It is important that any CEO/President Interim or Acting knows that they report to the full board, the board does not report to them. Our job is to set policy and procedure, oversee the financial stability, understand our contracts scope and services, and hold those in position accountable for facilitating. It is clear that neither Jackson nor Berkoff understand this concept and to that point we have lost programs, we have lost services, and this is all because people held back door meetings even though they had concrete information that stated otherwise.

We have received correspondence back from the Attorney General’s office; however it conflicts with the statements made by Tommie Jackson and Mike Berkoff. We also viewed the response from the governor’s office, and we need to correct your statement because the board did not accuse the governor of anything, however, we asked him questions based upon statements made by Tommie Jackson and Mike Berkoff which they said had come from the governor.

At this time, many people are hurting and our focus has and was and is on how to better deliver programs and services properly execute and facilitate contracts that we currently have, oversee, monitor and manage budgets and lastly there was a great plan which was facilitated by Mrs. Stephenson and it wasn’t something that was selfish but it would have, can and will…if we move forward, create jobs, save jobs and facilitate the real creditability to the community.

We are not interested in arguing. Too much has been lost and too much is at stake. But just through a few of these emails you will see how difficult they have made it by not holding board meeting nor committee meetings. This board was a custom to structure and that has not been the case since Jackson was illegally appointed. So they have the ability to rally as many board members as possible, however, we as board members have a fiduciary responsibility and we will hold true to that. No more of this disappointment through poor leadership!


Dale Ferguson

Cynthia Bowser

Robin Peterson

Vanessa Parker

Paola Ochoa


3 responses to “Letter: NEON leaders don’t respect staff, clients”

  1. WHAT?

    Just in case someone left their theater program at home, make sure you know who the characters are. Dale Ferguson is best childhood friends with ‘Mrs. Stephenson’s’ sister. But more critically, Ms. Ferguson did not mind secret meetings and being one of only a handful of board members on the email chains back when Berkhoff and O’Dea were (incomprehensibly) backing Stephenson. Now that Berkhoff and O’Dea have decided Stephenson is radioactive Ferguson is all about open meetings and full disclosure. Get real. By the way, too bad none of the 7 board members who resigned in October never tried to tell Berkhoff and O’Dea that Chiquita was an incompetent liar who couldnt be trusted, oh wait . . . .

  2. hersheyteach101

    What ……..you really need to get that huge chip off your shoulder and please get your facts straight before spreading rumors about people. What does being friends with someone has to do with any of this anyway? Please go find something better else to do with your time.

  3. Bill

    Time for ferguson and hot mess Chiquita to move along and try to get more government money for 6 figure jobs somewhere else.

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