Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Joe Sanker’s “forget about it” on increased Recreation funding

An ordinance changing 2007 appropriations passed during last night’s council meeting. Left unchanged for 2007, however, was the $85,000 budgeted for the Recreation Commission. This, despite Recreation’s 3/27/07 communication to the Finance and Audit Committee, which states, in part, “In 2003 the city was contributing $127,000 to recreation, in 2004 it was cut to $85,000 and we have been given the same amount since then despite inflation. This was a 32% cut that we have struggled with over the past few years as well as inflation just like all the other departments in this city have faced.”

Councilperson Sanker, chair of the F&A Committee, was obviously not impressed either with the Recreation communication or with Mr. Schneider’s urgings, during discussion of the appropriations ordinance, that additional funding be provided to cover the increase in seasonal payroll and operations costs. Mr. Sanker answered him by emphasizing there’s no reason to add funding until there’s a reason to add funding. Period. He stated, “If we’d put $150,000 in, they’d have spent it by now…if they’re out of money now, it’s a management problem, not a council problem.”

Guaranteeing that “none of those kids (seasonal employees) are going to go without a paycheck,” Mr. Sanker also stressed that while summertime is the largest spending time for Recreation, it is also the largest revenue-generating time, too. Mr. Schneider immediately asked, “Then the money for pools, the pool passes, goes into the Recreation Fund and not into the General Fund?” To that, Mr. Sanker replied, “Yes, that's the way it’s always been.”

So, anybody who’s hoping Recreation will get a dime to spend before it’s time can forget about it…that is, if Mr. Sanker has anything to do with it, which he does.