Finding a method to assist small yard roots nonprofit groups was a dedication Shelby County Commissioner Reginald Milton made in 2013 on the campaign path to the people who chose him.On Monday, the commission will vote on a resolution that establishes the guidelines for dispersing cash to nonprofit groups in a recently developed $1.3 million fund that designates $100,000 for each commissioner to aid charitable organizations and fund community enhancement projects.The resolution on those guidelines passed in the budget and finance committee recently in a 9-1 vote. Its a brand-new strategy to moneying nonprofits that Milton combated busily to keep in the countys$ 1.18 billion budget.Other commissioners say it makes sure grant cash can be spread similarly
throughout the county.But Commissioner Mark Billingsley, the only opponent in recentlies vote, says governments very first obligation ought to have been to all the countys taxpayers, not simply the not-for-profit groups.The guidelines to disperse the cash specify the not-for-profit statutes needed to get funds, necessary paperwork and mandates a full commission vote on each allocation.Ive spent the bulk of my life working for nonprofits. I have actually seen anguish firsthand, Milton stated. Ive seen suffering and it is typically these organizations, these inadequately moneyed and greatly dedicated enthusiastic nonprofits, that are likewise on the front lines in attending to the challenges of our society.The small groups he anticipates to benefit most are the canaries in the mines.They are generally the very first to see problems and concerns and epidemics that find their method eventually into our emergency situation
rooms and our justice systems and our schools, he said.But, according to Billingsley, there was a much better use for this portion of the countys funds.The countys budget included$6 million in surplus funds, which the commission distributed based on enhanced budget demands from chosen officials
. It also gave a$290,000 grant to the Memphis Health Center.The commission need to have likewise lowered taxes, Billingsley said The genuine question is whether the Shelby County Commissioners have discovered something with adequate vested significance to them to support with their own personal pocketbooks, he said. It is not my role as a Shelby County Commissioner to redistribute our taxpayers dollars to my personal option of charities. If we have a Shelby
County budget surplus, the first top priority should be to our taxpayers and pay them back by reducing their commercial property taxes.The Memphis City Council had a comparable resolution this budget plan period, which failed, said former council member Shea Flinn.Giving elected officials a fund to bestow to whomever they pick allows that official to obtain individual credit for givinghanding out public dollars, said Flinn, who opposed the measure in the council.When you begin parceling it out, its pork barrel spending at its greatest, he said.But Commissioner Willie Brooks sees it as a method for commissioners to stay near to the individuals who elected them.The whole intent in the initiative is to enable us to engage
the community, to address things that are import to them, Brooks stated. Its responding back to our constituents.Also, stated Commissioner David Reaves, Miltons co-sponsor, it spreads out the funds throughout the county.Really, that
grant cash is always being dispersed, Reaves said. Its simply reallocated in a different way making it similarly fair throughout the county, since how frequently do you believe a suburban area gets any grant money?And commissioners will have the ability to work together on larger jobs that serve multiple districts, he said.Milton is the executive director of the nonprofit South Memphis Alliance and got a $650,000 city grant this year, cash that will be made use of to transform a warehouse into a community resource center.Hell make use of the$100,000 in his fund to assistto assist the small having a hard time firms in his district and trust that with single-member districts, the other commissioners will do what is best for their locations as well.Who better to be in a position to know their neighborhood than the commissioner of that district?
Milton stated. Its not wasting money; its bringing funds close to the ground to ensure that decisions are made well.