Dear Editor, I’ve never seen so many people at city hall for a public hearing on the city’s budget. It’s a sign of hard economic times. Some 73 agencies want the city’s money. An agency list has been reviewed by the Human Services Advisory Committee to determine who will get funding and who will not.
More than 30 agencies signed up to speak. They consisted of both paid and unpaid professional beggars emulating what their clients do when they come through the door. They request help. For the most part, help is their main purpose. The need is great. It causes the agencies to compete for funding. Is one better than the other? Government will choose. Citizens will not.
In order to elevate their cause, speakers told horror stories, tales of woe, and stories of success so they would have a better chance to get on the list; however, getting on the list doesn’t mean it will be funded. Failure to be chosen has its consequences. Those not chosen and many more agencies not on the list will suffer. They will get less money, the money taken from us that we could otherwise give to the charity or agency of our choice. Government preempts and usurps our decisions. People should decide, not government.
When the city decides, it should be based on facts, not emotions. Councilmember Walen had a great idea. The city should determine a method of evaluating agencies. The pro-rata system that’s used now is useless. It’s eyewash.
We need to know about duplicate services, budget management, financial counseling, how to make better personal decisions, personal responsibilities, administrative cost, and the number of people served. . Those who use public funds should be held accountable and subject to conditions. If and only if needed, money should supplement budgets, not supplant them.
The city should have a better idea as to who deserves how much and why.
I doubt the annexation area has a lot of human service needs.