Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fight over Non-Profit Grant Money?

The Metro Council's Budget & Finance Committee is currently debating the non-profit grant award process in which panel reviews dictate which organizations are going to get Metro tax revenues. Given contrasting comments by Charlie Tygard and Jerry Maynard, it sounds like there is some bellyaching e-mails coming from some losing non-profits and their supporters over not having enough information about the award process and about possibly being overlooked even though their scores were higher. Metro Council will consider the awards at their next meeting.

With budget shortfalls in public services gallore, watching non-profits fight over what Mayor Dean throws them feels like slow death by a thousand tiny cuts.

UPDATE:  Buttorff follows up:
“It seemed to us that it became a process where [a nonprofit group] knew the Mayor or they knew the Council or they knew somebody,” said Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling. “We felt there needed to be a process created that gave everybody equal footing and that’s what we think we’ve done with this.”

Tygard said that all three panels should use the same process. The Metro Council has to approve the grant awards as recommended by the Mayor’s Office.

Yesterday, Tygard said he’s going to file an amendment to alter the funding awards before the Council votes on the issue next week.
Jerry Maynard also made some reference to e-mails he is getting from a non-profits about this issue. It seems like the patronizing relationship between some non-profits and Council Members is still in place. I wonder how much lobbying is going on, and despite the Grant Coordination Director's claim that they are "building the airplane while flying it," some of the conflict of interest issues seem obvious.

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