Cover Photo: Robert W. Johnson Community Center Logo
HAGERSTOWN, MD News (11/29/2022) – Members of the Jonathan Street community have started a petition they feel is necessary to save their local community center. The Robert W. Johnson Community Center (RWJCC) is a community staple that provides resources and activities for local children in Hagerstown, MD. With over half of the goal of 1000 signatures, members of the community are voicing their displeasure regarding how the RWJCC board is running the facility. Radio Free Hub City reached out using the contact information on RWJCC’s website and social media for comment, but so far, received only an automated reply via Facebook Messenger.
The petition, hosted on Change.org, cites several questions and concerns residents feel have gone unaddressed by RWJCC’s board for far too long. The petitioners are calling not only for the disbanding of the board, but for the immediate removal of two board members. Petitioners cite conflicts of interest as the reason for calling for these immediate removals.
Some of the concerns petitioners say have gone unaddressed have certainly raised a few eyebrows. A summer camp was cancelled with seemingly no explanation within a week of the camp’s scheduled start date, which caused “chaos” for residents that had made arrangements for their children to attend the camp. Additionally, some board members were allegedly removed for making “remarks” about a local politician on their personal Facebook pages, while another was allowed to make disparaging remarks about other elected officials or candidates on a local television show with no apparent consequences. These are only a few topics that inspired the call to action, and readers wanting to further understand the issue can find each question or concern listed in the petition.
The petitioners also feel that the RWJCC board actively avoids including the public in meetings to provide information or hear questions and concerns from the public. Beyond the day-to-day operations and schedule at RWJCC, petitioners claim they have reason to believe rules about non partisanship for nonprofits like RWJCC that have funding pledged by the State Of Maryland are being broken or treated with blatant disregard. Residents are asking fellow citizens to become informed and involved on the matter so that action will be taken to restore the RWJCC to an organization that truly cares for the community it’s meant to serve.