Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pacifica Resource Center funding should be a given

Pacifica Resource Center
City poverty rate: 24%
General Fund funding: .003%

Pacifica Tribune Letters to the Editor, 5/20/14.  "Resource Center funding" by Lionel Emde

Dear City Council member:

The Resource Center's funding represents approximately .003 percent of the general fund. That's three one/thousandths of the fund.   Yet the city has large pension bond obligations which it plans to borrow money from the sewage treatment plant fund, designated for plant replacement, in the form of a loan, to refinance some of this debt. It seems creative financing is good for the city's work force -- why isn't it good for the public?

Pacifica has a 24 percent poverty rate. The Resource Center is able to leverage the $83,000 contribution from the city more than six times over from other funders, due largely to the legitimacy gained from municipal support. A budget cut to the Resource Center will affect thousands of people here. The bonds that the city is refinancing might affect a couple of hundred people.

What is the purpose of government, and whom does it really serve?

ReferencePacifica Resource Center.  Note:  photograph from Pacifica Resource Facebook page.

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Kathy Meeh said...

Bravo to Lionel for his Letter to City Council, and for reprinting the same in the Tribune!

Aren't WE a little uncomfortable with the low rate the city contributes to the invaluable Pacifica Resource Center? And isn't it outrageous that each year at budget time, our resource center is subject to the threat of being cut-off from funding? Each year this NGO and others faithfully come before city council to beg for a modest stipend which has not increased for many years.

And this year, this charity may be saved at its usual low funding level, the others not. And why not? As Lionel says, what is the purpose of government? To that, I would add: is this city doing a good job managing what little revenue it has? Considering the cost of ongoing shelved consultant studies, no Economic Development Director, and the proposed city pension financing from our WWTP building reserve (1% return only if paid back)-- well?

Anonymous said...

This is a broken and dangerously dysfunctional town. Council congratulating staff/self for thinking out of the box and finding a legal exception to get at those sewer funds is repugnant in light of the cuts to the NGOs and the threat to the PRC. Guess this council really isn't so different from its maligned predecessors when it comes to money. Are these cuts tough love for the bitch-slap on Measure V, or is council truly tone-deaf? The purpose of government is to serve the needs of the people it represents. We see less and less of that in Pacifica. The PRC is one of the things that keeps residents from seeing on a daily basis the decay, poverty, dysfunction that surrounds us. The other thing is the army of volunteers who pick up the slack and everything else around town. Council would be wise to leave people their illusions lest we discover how great their failure really is.