Recommended cuts in Community Block Grant funding should be shouldered by all of the competing programs selected for funding.
New Horizons should not be singled out with the largest cut in appropriations both as a percentage of the previous budget and also the largest dollar amount of $15,000.
The capriciousness of the decision made by the committee in making such a drastic cut in our funding without regard to its effect on the services being provided is incomprehensible.
It goes without saying that other standards were applied in making these decisions.
I agree with committee member Gary Cornell when he said that some of his colleagues were “penalizing larger, more successful organizations for their efficiency.”
This is particularly troubling when city staff, community leaders, other funding organizations and even members or your own Community Development Block Grant committee have consistently praised our center and the achievements of its programs. Serving more children than the limited funds the committee provides, along with 22 additional children with a separate grant that supports five homeless children, New Horizons leverages every available dollar to improve our programs and the lives of those receiving our services, and has yet to turn away a single child.
When committee member Zareh Amirian said, “I wouldn’t have suggested this cut if I didn’t think they could handle it,” it signifies that other interests are at work. Your measurements of outcomes, achievements and the greatest good for the community apparently are not used when deciding on funding.
The economy has hit all organizations, yet we continue to deliver quality programs, efficiently and effectively.
By accepting the current committee recommendations as presented, you are sending a loud message to the center and the communities that we serve that frankly you do not care about serving their population. I urge you to revisit the current funding allocations and reinstate our funding to at least the level of last year, accordingly.
MARIA A. ROCHART is executive director of New Horizons Family Center and a resident of Glendale.