Letters to the Editor
May 16, 2009
The front-page article and editorial in Wednesday’s paper left several wrong impressions that I would like to correct.
The first is that our nonprofits are unaccountable and opaque. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most, particularly the social-service nonprofits such as People’s Health Clinic and Peace House subsist primarily on grants from foundations and government agencies for which they must provide copious amounts of information in order to obtain and keep their funding. All the County has to do is ask for this information and it will be provided to them. In the past, the requirements from the County to receive funding have been minimal, but that will soon change and the nonprofits are ready to comply.
The second is that the County has concerns about the possible misuse of its grant money (which is actually a very small amount) by nonprofits and is "cracking down" (the online story headline) on them to ensure this does not happen in the future. This is also not true, and does a disservice to both the nonprofits and the County in presenting such a distorted impression of the situation to the reading public. There is no cause for alarm about the way our nonprofits are being managed and how they are using public monies. There is cause for alarm among the nonprofits, however, about the calamitous drop in grant funding and contributions this year, upon which they depend to deliver their needed services to the community. Articles like this do not help the situation.
The third is that the County is heartlessly cutting the funding this year in order to balance the budget. That is also an unnecessary mischaracterization of the facts. As your reporter hopefully learned at Wednesday night’s Council meeting, the County was as equally blindsided and appalled by the story and editorial as was the nonprofit community. The County is actually trying to be more accountable to the public in their use of tax dollars and has decided now is the time to take a closer look at how those limited funds are allocated in the future. The nonprofits, while concerned about what the future might hold in terms of funding from the County, welcome the opportunity to demonstrate their responsiveness and value to the community with a more robust application process.
I hope this sets the record straight and reassures the good citizens of Summit County that their cherished nonprofits have been, and continue to be, well-managed, accountable and responsible in their conduct. They are deserving of everyone’s active, enthusiastic support.
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Legalize gambling in Park City
It is clear that if the City Council seriously entertains the notion that City Manager Tom Bakaly needs a helper, to the tune of $100,000, to do his job, they (the Council) are in a serious state of denial. The City Council should be looking to cut costs at every level so that the City and its myriad funding recipients share the pain that the rest of we tax payers are enduring during this recession. There is, however, an alternative: City Council should follow the example of Deadwood, S.D., (which I recently visited) and convince the legislature to allow gambling in Park City (this might require building a wall around the city limits but to a good effect). There is nothing new about this since one-armed bandits were prevalent in the ’50s. It would also be a welcome outlet for the frustrations built up by the denizens of the valley and would not have the downside that led to the outlawing of the possession of kegs of beer by private citizens.
Park City is on a dangerous track of wants versus needs. When needs once again take precedence over fluff we may be regaining our balance. I’m not holding my breath.
Now that’s great business
Right Start Kids Academy (located in Black Diamond Gym) has been great for my preschooler. The director is Lesa Hudgens-Evans and she stepped up this week and really impressed me. I got a call on Sunday night telling me that they were extending the school day for an hour each day until school is out to make up for being closed with precautions for H1N1.
Now that is what I call great business. She knew it was the right thing to do. Way to go, Lesa! If she runs her new Right Start in DayBreak like she does here, she will be very successful. On top of that, the school year is almost over and I have not been asked to contribute to ANY fund-raising!