SARASOTA COUNTY - There are not enough members to keep the YMCA’s in Sarasota County open- according to a statement by Sarasota County VP and CFO Steve Bourne.

Sarasota based CPA firm Kerkering Barberio & Co. produces full audits for the YMCA, and with those documents being public record, a deeper looks reveals a larger question. If the Y is struggling, why the 22% increase in executive compensation between 2017 and 2018?

Comparing the two years’ 990 tax forms, we can see although revenue increased slightly, expenses were dramatically higher. Salaries and wages do not seem to reflect the snapshot of financial hardship shown on the income statement. Former YMCA President and CEO Carl Weinrich says the writing on the wall indicating the financial woes of the Y were evident years ago.

“We had a relationship that failed between the foundation, which was the fundraising arm, and the operating side. The leaders on both sides were really at odds. That happened around two or two and half years ago that that relationship fell apart. That was the beginning of all these major financial issues," says Weinrich.

Bourne states they “tried significant fundraising, but the philanthropy base in Sarasota was not interested in subsidizing fitness facility operations each year.”

When asked to appear on camera for an interview, Bourne declined. Account supervisor Faithe Estes with Public Relations consulting firm Tucker/Hall is currently running crisis management for the Sarasota based Y. Estes was unable to comment in time for our broadcast despite being contacted several times.

While Bourne says they will do all they can to help staff and members transition to other options, Weinrich believes salvaging the Y is feasible.

“If an organization with community leaders could be put together that are outside of the current board and so forth and they were willing to step up together and come up with a way to raise enough money to pay off the current debt and then deed those branches over to either the   Tampa YCMA or Venice, I think it’s possible," says Weinrich.