Clearly, the city’s process for donating your money to charity is out of kilter.
It was on display when the City Council voted Tuesday to give away $4.6 million to local non-profit agencies. It was passed as an emergency although the council had a year to decide how to spend the money.
It was money from a windfall given to the city by the federal government ostensibly as “relief” for the impact of the Red Chinese virus.
The federal government, controlled by the tax-and-spend Democrat Party, is adding trillions of dollars to the national debt by borrowing money and giving it away.
City Haul is flush with cash and didn’t know what to do with the lagniappe so it decided to give it to local non-profit organizations, which is allowed by the federal government even though the connection to the pandemic is nebulous.
The city already gives many millions of your dollars to local non-profits through “miscellaneous appropriations” in the budget each year. However, the process for handing out that cash is a bit more structured.
This was a cherry on the whipped cream.
Then, council members decided to let council members decide where it would go.
Each council member was asked to name two local organizations to get a total of $242,105, or one to get the full amount.
It was the second time around. Earlier, each council member got $102,000 of federal money to hand out.
Council members, of course, don’t necessarily know which local organizations need or deserve more money.
Worse, several council members have connections to local non-profits.
None are affected by the handouts from the federal government but are affected by the regular budget process, which is set up to give council members cover. Each appropriation that involves a conflict is placed in a separate bill so that the member with a conflict can abstain from voting on it.
The $4.6 million spending measure passed 15-2 with Matt Carlucci and Rory Diamond voting against passage.
Another bill, sponsored by Diamond that would require an examination of the current process and recommend changes was introduced and will be assigned to committees.
Diamond himself is involved in a national non-profit that receives federal money but neither asks for nor receives local grants.
Council Member Michael Boylan gave his allocation to the for-profit publisher of a local newspaper. That is allowed by the feds, but all the other money went to non-profits.
It should be noted that there is nothing inherently noble about being a not-for-profit. Such organizations make plenty of money and usually have substantial wages, salaries and benefits.
Furthermore, they aren’t necessarily non-political, even if they are non-profit.
Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg funneled more than $400 million through non-profit organizations in the 2020 election – and it was mostly used to help Democrats win elections.
Jacksonville taxpayers need to know whether their involuntary contributions to local charities and organizations are helping people in need or helping politicians buy votes.
See spreadsheet of where these “federal dollars” went.