We can call the organizations service organizations and/or charities; choice of words in either case is fine. During the application process some of the agencies always mention the grant process. It plays a role for some, but not many specifics are included in the requests. In either case the concept put forth would actual enhance the grant potential for the prioritized five agencies. Are the agencies different that the Street Department? Yes, the street department is a city core function, the agencies are not.
I tossed in the comment about a ballot question to highlight what the current program is all about. Kathy is correct that the Commission did not allow the SOS petition to be put on the ballot for the primary reason that it did not pass the legal departments review. The proposal of a 2% general fund commitment each year to SSAB was a budget problem. This was a clear effort to not save social services or maintain them at the current level, but to increase the commitment. During the public discussions it became clear the many in the city like the general concept of support for social services, but were not fully aware of the current commitment in terms of dollars and were unaware of the specific agencies that were supported. The proposal that I have put forth does not have anything to do with the good bad equation that Kathy presented. I think that may be a reference to the Jobs PAC advertisements. What I have proposed is a targeted support of selected, high return social services/charities at a tax supported level in the neighborhood of 250K. This has nothing to do with corporate welfare, though it does relate to the City Budget.
The proposal put forth is fairly simple: Fund the current SSAB structure at around 250K, focus efforts on fewer agencies so as to achieve greater results, enhance awareness, and finally ramp up alternate private donations to support and be in addition to tax dollars provided by the government. The Liquor Drink Law sales tax support in terms of dollars and agencies selected by the Special Alcohol Advisory Board would remain unchanged.
What is the total picture for Social Services/Charities and city support? For budget year 2013 the supported agencies and dollar amounts were:
SSAB: Big Brother/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club, Crisis Center, Homecare & Hospice, Kansas Legal Services, KSU Child Development Center, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, Shepherd’s Crossing, CASA, UFM— $354,925 dollars from the General Fund.
Special Alcohol Programs: Big Brother/Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, Manhattan Emergency Shelter, CASA and UFM receive support from both funds. Other agencies support by the Special Alcohol fund were – KSU Drug Education Service, Pawnee Mental Health, Riley City Youth Court, Riley County Community Corrections – Juvenile, Riley County Community Corrections-Adult, The Restoration Center, and USD 383. $429,566 generated from the Liquor Drink tax.
The total government support of SSSAB agencies will be $354,925 from the General Fund and $116,223 from the Drink tax. Grand total of $471,158.