Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

On July 3, the East Palo Alto City Council voted to allocate $45,000 to the East Palo Alto Boxing Club, a nonprofit organization within the city that teaches boxing skills to the city’s youth. The organization also encourages its young participants to set personal goals, maintain high standards and stay out of trouble.

When the city council agreed to allocate the money to the boxing club, it requested that the city’s staff provide the council with potential funding sources from which to take the money. At the council's evening meeting on July 17, the staff suggested three city funded areas: the fund for children and seniors, the technology fund and the council’s budget allocation fund.

One resident remarked, during a community forum after the suggestions were made, that if the council followed through on the suggestions, then it would be robbing Peter to pay Paul, since the boxing club’s funding would be taken from other city programs.

So, we’d like to know whether you think the council should take the money that it plans to give to the boxing program from other funded programs. If the council does what the staff suggested, would it, in fact, be robbing Peter to pay Paul?


Anonymous said...

I do not feel the Council should take from these other programs. What avenues has Mr. Gray pursued? Perhaps focusing more on establishing a board of directors which could greatly assist with funding, and connecting with boxing programs in other cities to see how they have done it, might be something Mr. Gray should look into for funding of his program. I understand he was a Golden Gloves champion, and I wonder if there is possible funding from that national organization or others like it. What about grants? I really do feel that people need to stop expecting the City to bail them out when they run into funding problems. Everybody wants to help the youth, but there's only so much money to go around. Make it happen yourself, Mr. Gray.

Court said...

This line of thinking certainly fits with the good old American Way that many have been brainwashed in to believing. If we follow it to the limit, then taxes should be eliminated and we should all be out fixing our own potholes and certainly anyone who wishes to ply any trade should not be prohibited from doing so.

A better tack would be to elimnate the government waste, and to determine as a city what it is that we'd like to support (i.e. subsidize) and what we think should be used to support it (i.e. what might be taxed.) Then these sort of questions would not be required.