County’s method to fund nonprofits starts to take shape
Published: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:55 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 10:43 p.m.
A four-hour-long Alachua County Commission debate Tuesday shaped some of the criteria for the county’s Community Agency Partnership Program in the upcoming 2011-12 fiscal year but left some issues unresolved.
Through CAPP, the county provides taxpayer money to a series of local nonprofit agencies to provide services in the community.
The past two fiscal years, CAPP funding has been slightly less than $1 million. For this current fiscal year, county commissioners, during budget deliberations, gave an additional amount of approximately $190,000 to three nonprofit agencies — the Early Learning Coalition, Three Rivers Legal Services and Florida Organic Growers.
Those nonprofits either were ineligible for CAPP funding under criteria in place at the time or did not receive a favorable recommendation for funding from the CAPP citizen advisory board.
On Tuesday, after much debate and several failed motions, commissioners decided on some criteria for 2011-12. In a 4-1 vote, the majority agreed the program should continue to focus on poverty reduction and work to fund organizations providing food, shelter, utilities and health care access as well as children’s programs. The board will have a future meeting to try to agree on the specific criteria for those children’s programs.
Commissioner Susan Baird cast the dissenting vote. She previously has argued it was not the role of government to put taxpayer monies toward charity operations. Tuesday, she also said she felt the criteria were too broad and that the program should focus on emergency needs.
At times, Commissioner Mike Byerly also voiced concerns that the criteria were too broad.
“I support the core food, shelter, health care approach that supports basic needs, because I don’t think we’re adequately doing that,” Byerly said.
Before the debate and eventual vote on the criteria, a 3-2 vote, with Baird and Pinkoson dissenting, the board expressed an intent to fund CAPP at some level in 2011-12. Pinkoson said he could not make such a move until he saw more specifics in upcoming months on the county’s projected financial situation for 2011-12.
In a separate 3-2 decision, commissioners voted not to pledge 1 percent of the general fund revenues to CAPP. Byerly, Baird and Pinkoson voted not to make the commitment when the remainder of budget talks are months away.
“I am not against CAPP,” Pinkoson said. “I think we will come to fund it at some level. At this point, I’m just not sure what extent ... I think it performs a service, a vital service.
Commissioners Rodney Long and Paula DeLaney voted to support putting at least 1 percent of the general fund toward CAPP.
Contact Christopher Curry at 374-5088 or email@example.com.