Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Role of City Government

At the May 20 East Palo Alto City Council meeting, council members voted three to two to allocate money to several local groups which sponsor cultural programs in the city. Throughout the meeting, Council member Peter Evans argued that the city was functioning improperly as a welfare agency and was misusing taxpayers’ money by supporting community programs sponsored by the city's nonprofit agencies. He stated that the city should concentrate solely on providing municipal services, like fixing the streets. The council ignored his arguments and decided, instead, to establish guidelines it could use to determine future funding for local agencies that request city assistance.

So, what do you think? Do you agree with Evans that the city should focus on providing municipal services only? Or do you believe it is a function of local government to allocate money to social service agencies that need assistance in providing needed community services? You can log in and post your opinion below or you can email your opinion to Either way, we might print your views in EPA Today’s Letter to the Editor column.