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January 17, 2022

Supes at odds over donations to nonprofits

Some are opposed to giving county money to new groups, as
suggested
County supervisors this week decided to delay the decision on
allocating money to various nonprofits in the area after some
disagreed with the recommendations made by the Community Foundation
in a nearly two-hour discussion.
Because of the possible changes that a restructuring of the
county’s donations could bring to the budget, the board decided to
postpone any decision until the budget hearings next month. Also,
supervisors decided to create a sub-committee to figure out a way
to best supply nonprofits that are in need, only two years after
the board directed the Community Foundation to do the same.
The Community Foundation recommended donations totaling $70,658
to seven different nonprofits, three of which the county has never
supported. Because of the new nonprofit donations, two
organizations wouldn’t receive the money they got last year.
Supervisor Margie Barrios gave one of those groups, Advocacy,
Inc, a lot of support.
Some are opposed to giving county money to new groups, as suggested

County supervisors this week decided to delay the decision on allocating money to various nonprofits in the area after some disagreed with the recommendations made by the Community Foundation in a nearly two-hour discussion.

Because of the possible changes that a restructuring of the county’s donations could bring to the budget, the board decided to postpone any decision until the budget hearings next month. Also, supervisors decided to create a sub-committee to figure out a way to best supply nonprofits that are in need, only two years after the board directed the Community Foundation to do the same.

The Community Foundation recommended donations totaling $70,658 to seven different nonprofits, three of which the county has never supported. Because of the new nonprofit donations, two organizations wouldn’t receive the money they got last year.

Supervisor Margie Barrios gave one of those groups, Advocacy, Inc, a lot of support.

The group asked the board to change the totals of the other organization to give $5,000 to the nonprofit – and Barrios agreed.

Supervisors Pat Loe and Jaime De La Cruz also both agreed to not give money to new organizations to which the board had not donated in prior years.

“I will not support funding any organizations we have not funded before,” Loe said.

Only Supervisor Reb Monaco agreed with what the Community Foundation recommended.

“We asked them to do a task and they have done that,” Monaco said. “To reject that would make no sense.”

The discussion broadened after Barrios brought up how Advocacy, Inc. needs the money to get federal grant money.

Under a match program, Advocacy, Inc. is dependant on the money it receives from the county to get money from the federal government.

And with no state money this year, it’s more important, said Kathlyn Johnson of Advocacy, Inc.

The program is state mandated and otherwise the sheriff’s office would have to take over, costing the county more money, she warned.

“It’s more cost efficient,” she said.

City Councilwoman Pauline Valdivia, who represented Jovenes de Antano, asked for more money from the county than the proposed allocation. The nonprofit would receive $20,000 from the county but last year got $40,000.

Valdivia recalled Jovenes De Antano’s more than 30-year history in the county as a reason why it should receive more money.

The nonprofit did receive an additional $10,000 from the Community Foundation on the condition that the organization could gather $5,000 worth of donations on its own. Valdivia said Jovenes would have a hard time doing that.

“To do funding in this community is very difficult,” she said.

It was the second recommendation made by the Community Foundation after the board adopted a new policy in 2008 that allowed the foundation to give the board an unbiased recommendation.

The new policy also outlined the formula to determine the available allocation – 6.5 percent of the county’s sales tax receipts.

Therefore, the money available would fluctuate based on county’s economy.

Based on the formula, this year the county had $11,444 less money to work with but received 73 letters of intent.

Despite disagreeing with how the Community Foundation allocated the money, supervisors praised the hard work of the nonprofit.

“I don’t want to take anything away from the Community Foundation – they didn’t have the criteria we have set out today,” Loe said.

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