Tuesday, January 16, 2007

More Local Tax Dollars To Be Sluiced for Private Groups Tonight

A slate of new initiatives on tonight's Metro Council Agenda would continue to subsidize private non-profits with public tax dollars, even though the primary designation of those funds is "infrastructure." I've already established the question as to whether a bill that would send $14,000 of our tax dollars to an association-run baseball field in Shelby Park is more private than public. And I've already mentioned that Ronnie Greer has rolled away the stone and has resurrected his bid to send $5,000 to a Church of Christ ministry that converts the people it serves. But here is the entire list on tonight's agenda.

If you are keeping score at home, all of the non-profit requests for "infrastructure" funds made since October have been approved with no debate and little challenge (with the exception of Greer's "Ministry" request), so we can expect that all of these will breeze through easily.

I'll reiterate that I don't think that public support for private organizations is a bad thing. But why earmark all of that money to private groups when public services need it, too? Why choose a private domestic violence program when our police domestic violence task force can use the funds? Why should Metro pay the Humane Association money when Animal Control does not have enough resources to help control our stray dog problems? What are council members getting from these private groups in return for their largesse with our money?

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