by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
This weekend, LEAF is hosting a festival downtown. This follows an urgent request from representatives of that group for $15,000 at the last city council meeting. The group, allegedly due to red tape, missed the last cycle for outside agency consideration. Councilpeople Jan Davis and Gwen Wisler spoke against breaking with procedures. Wisler wanted to be able to assess the merits of other organizations against the request, wanted to know what would be jettisoned from the budget since the city manager was not going to approve a budget amendment this early in the fiscal year, and wanted to give normal channels a chance to weigh and consider the request. Davis noted the city had already increased its contributions to outside agencies this year.
The urgency was such that there was no time to notify the public about the ask. Council members, however, were privy to an itemization of funding requests. Mayor Esther Manheimer explained the the red tape was in part due to her misunderstanding that the funding was for this weekend’s festival, and the city was trying to get out of the festival business. Executive Director and Founder Jennifer Pickering insisted that was not the case, but that the urgency was due to contract deadlines next week.
But hey. What’s a kid without face paint?