Yes it's true certain local charities & not for profits receive special consideration by elected officials. Yes many taxpayers resent officials passing out others hard earned tax dollars to their personal favorite causes. Part of what makes the situation worse is that neither city nor county government require even the most basic of information. for a group to apply. Added to that is there isn't any "neutral", consistent evaluation process where criteria & rating scale are used to select the best charities to receive your tax dollars. Additionally one of the most significant local arguments against officials selecting their charities for your tax dollars is that the officials require no form of return on investment - meaning unlike state & federal grants the funds are given blindly for no specific purpose, without even an application, detailed budget, project purpose etc. Basically the money is a handout to favorite organizations, on short notice without any valid reason for distribution other than the official likes the group. To my knowledge there may be only a few organizations that are conscientious enough to provide a contract detailing services. I know of only one contract- but there may be a few more however it's clear the vast majority do not. Sadly, because there is no application process some organizations receive tax funds but don't report the income, misuse/misdirect the income or simply pay someone's salary rather than address a specific task, project or goal. Many organizations don't even attempt their own fund raising but simply expect their annual "handout" so they don't have to bother with gathering public support, soliciting donations, creating & working fundraisers. Many groups don't even have at least one annual fundraiser designed to generate revenue to sustain the organization & have come so dependent on official favors they complain they "can't exist without support".

On a positive note several county council persons have repeatedly requested the county begin implementing at least some basic form of assessment & documentation. Councilman Armbrecht suggested more than a year ago that local government come in line with standard government practice & state board of accounts rule & at least get signed contracts with each entity. Councilman Ray Denning has repeatedly asked commissioners to create a written application and evaluation process to ensure both fairness and accountability. I believe Ray has reached out on several occasions to offer his assistance to the commissioners but no progress has been made in the past. I am also aware that Councilman Denning has recently reached out to newly elected Commissioner Bramer to see if they can bring a proposal to the commissioners & council for joint consideration.

Post or send your your questions on this topic to my email link on the side bar and I'll follow up as best as I can. In the mean time, I asked Larry Henry to gather some information from the state on what's called an entity report. "Charities" must file these reports every year. You will not like what the review has discovered. Have a good day- Tams

Let me add this regarding Commissioners Schafer and Bramer having met with the foundation. To my understanding the meetings discussed many topics including local groups misuse of taxpayer funds as part of their budgeting process (no benefit or return on dollars for public, lack of public support for charity, charities not doing their own fundraising and expecting tax dollars, dollars routinely used for salaries not projects, salaries which extend well beyond average wage in Jefferson County, etc etc) I believe they also discussed examples of organizations "doing it right". To my knowledge the meeting was not about deciding which groups were cut - if any. Tams