Manhattan used to be a caring community. Through no fault of their own, our friends and neighbors can fall on hard times. Our community has always been cognizant of those neighbors and done an excellent job of funding programs to assist. The past couple of years, we have seen two far right commissioners critical of our social service program spending. Without the votes on the Commission to cut funding to social services, they have had to turn to other means.
One of the responsibilities of the Mayor is to name appointees to advisory boards. In the case of the Social Service Advisory Board, that board recommends budgets for a large segment of Manhattan’s social service organizations. A few months ago, the Mayor appointed a Tea Party conservative to the SSAB. The other members of the City Commission sat there “fat, dumb, and happy” allowing such an appointment to happen with no discussion. This coming Tuesday, the Mayor will appoint a leader of the Flint Hills Tea Party to the SSAB. Will the rest of the commissioners sit there nodding their approval this time?
Mayor Matta serves until April 2014. Matta will be replaced, in April, with Mayor Pro-Tem Butler… one of the most vocal critics of the social service budgeting process. So, unless the other three commissioners “grow some”, we will see anti-government appointees loading the SSAB until they get their wish… cut funding for these necessary organizations.
If you feel appointments to the Social Services Advisory Board should be political in nature and mirror the hard right idealogy of the local Tea Party… sit on your fannys and smile while it happens. If you feel those entrusted with the responsibility of determining how well this community… YOUR community takes care of its own should be apolitical appointments call or e-mail your commissioners. Three of our elected officials must stand up for the less fortunate… or nobody will.