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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

Goodwill makes plans to build new donation-only site in Davis

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors met on April 16 to discuss revoking their decision to endorse Goodwill’s use of public bonds to fund a new Davis donation site.

On April 10, the board voted 5-1 to approve the building of Goodwill donation centers in West Sacramento and Davis.

The board was asked to make a finding that the Goodwill center was in the public interest. If that finding had been made, Goodwill would have been eligible to issue tax-exempt bonds.

The subsidy comes in the form of not charging taxes for financing, which means California taxpayers would be subsidizing that location.

Supervisor Don Saylor requested reconsideration of the Davis location based on “unanswered questions about Goodwill’s operations,” said Supervisor Jim Provenza at the April 16 meeting.

“It didn’t seem that proper notification had been made with the existing resale nonprofits in Davis,” Saylor said. “Right after the meeting on April 10, I talked with All Things Right & Relevant and the SPCA about what they thought might be the impact on their efforts, and they were very concerned.”

As Goodwill is quite a bit larger than the two local organizations, qualms were expressed that the organizations were not given a proper chance to compete.

“What I was opposing was the town board of supervisors endorsing special funding at a lower interest rate,” said Ruth Shumway, president of All Things Right & Relevant and R&R Thrift.

All Things Right & Relevant is an organization that gives its money to mental health agencies and employs mental health clients. All of the donations given to the agency stay within Yolo County.

“Goodwill is a giant corporation. The goods that people are donating to them are leaving the county,” Shumway said. “Since the board is for the county, we said, ‘What’s going on here?’”

Shumway was troubled by Goodwill receiving endorsement, as it would be harder for local nonprofits to gain access to the same funding.

She was also worried about Goodwill diverting the stream of donation away from local agencies.

“There is us and SPCA and we’re all waiting for the same consignment donation,” Shumway said.

All Things Right & Relevant recently opened bonds on an open market in order to finance their move to a new location.

“We even said, if you’re handing out endorsements, we’d like you to endorse us as a project that’s been in business for almost 20 years,” Shumway said. “We’ve never asked for help, and it all stayed in your county.”

Saylor agrees that it would best benefit Davis to have donations remain within the community.

“All our donations from the community get recycled into community benefits,” Saylor said. “Goodwill would take donations to other communities, and revenues from sales would go to Goodwill operations.”

Saylor said Goodwill will proceed with their Davis donation site, but it will not have a public tax subsidy.

“The county is not contributing to an uneven playing field,” Saylor said.

The organization plans to open its donation-only site within the next couple of months.

“They have signed the lease already and are in the process of doing modifications to the space in the shopping center on Covell,” Saylor said.

The Board of Directors will be meeting with Goodwill as well as with All Things Right & Relevant for further discussion.

“We look forward to meeting with Goodwill the week of April 30 to find out what’s going on,” said Kim Kinney, executive director of the Yolo County SPCA.

EINAT GILBOA can be reached city@theaggie.org.


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