$250,000 less than last year. Organizations submitted $5.4 million in
requests, forcing the council to make difficult decisions. The
council based its decisions on recommendations made by a committee
and followed the group's advice with a couple of minor changes. The
council chose to cut funding for two new social service programs to
add funding to existing programs.
"I don't think you need to start new programs when you don't have
enough money to operate the programs that have been going for the
last few years," Mayor Bob Yousefian said.
The city gave $569,200 for social service projects, $704,619 for
capital projects and $1.8 million for city programs in community
development block grants for the 2005-06 fiscal year. The grants are
funded by the federal government but administered by local
The council cut funding from two new social service programs,
reducing a $38,500 grant for a Homenetmen tutoring program and a
$24,000 grant for an elementary school counseling program to $10,000
The council spread that money among the Armenian Relief Society's
community outreach project and the Glendale Youth Alliance's youth
employment program. The Armenian Relief Society will receive $50,500,
and the Glendale Youth Alliance will receive $118,000.
"We asked for $52,000, and it was really a minimum," said Angela
Savoian, president of the Armenian Relief Society. "We do so much for
the people in Glendale. We do so much with existing programs. We as
nonprofits feel the budget crunch desperately."
The financial situation could get worse quickly. President Bush
recommended cutting the development grants by 30% to 40% in his
2006-07 budget, although that budget must be approved by Congress.
Quintero abstained from the vote, saying that the process is
flawed because council members are relying on a committee to make
decisions for them.
"This is something that elected officials should be deciding, not
a committee appointed by elected officials," Quintero said. "In the
decision-making, the general tone of the discussions remains the
same. People are saying things and making decisions that are very,
very arbitrary in nature."