Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council Passes on Trip Funds Independent Agency to Decide Which Youth Groups Get Travel Money

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council Passes on Trip Funds Independent Agency to Decide Which Youth Groups Get Travel Money

Article excerpt

Voting to take themselves out of the picture, Jacksonville City Council members approved a new policy yesterday governing the use of public dollars for private youth trips.

The members, mindful of the political baggage such requests carry, gave the job of deciding who gets what to the Jacksonville Children's Commission, with funding of up to $100,000 annually from the council.

The council measure also limits funding per group to $25,000, or 25 percent of the cost of the travel, whichever is less. That way, private contributions would still pay for most of the cost.

The commission, an independent city agency, will do a better job of deciding which groups to fund, council members said, because it has an appointed board and several paid staff employed to handle youth issues.

"It was a bad policy to ever bring those requests to the council," said Councilman Lake Ray, who helped work out the compromise. "The idea of taxpayer money for trips is fairly offensive to a lot of taxpayers, including myself."

The measure approved 16-2, with council members Jim Overton and Matt Carlucci opposed. Carlucci said he opposed the measure because it was being considered as an emergency, which means it bypassed regular council committee review.

But supporters said quick action was needed because two groups seeking funds face pending deadlines for their trips.

Their requests, which prompted the new plan, are before the council -- $50,000 for the Pop Warner football league to send a team to Frankfurt, Germany, for a game, and $20,000 for the Douglas Anderson School of Arts to help defray costs associated with a performance trip to an arts festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.

In addition, the council already approved two such requests. The first, in 1998, was for another Pop Warner team to go to Moscow to participate in the World Youth Games. And then in February, the council gave a soccer team from Stanton College Preparatory School $11,000 to help with a trip to Japan. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.