It’s seems simple enough: Majority rules.
Still, there was a desire to do some last-minute horse trading when it came to allocating funding for outside agencies specializing in economic development and social services last week.
In the end, however, Mayor Tom Towey’s suggestion that those agencies supported by all council members would receive the bulk of the funds and those favored by the majority won out at the Sept. 25 meeting.
“We could make this as simple or as complicated as we want to,” Towey told the council, which eventually went along with his suggestion.
Under the mayor’s direction, no agency was given any money if it received three or fewer nods from council members. That eliminated groups such as the Spokane River forum and, Spokane Neighborhood Action Programs and Sustainable Works.
“We could all argue for one of our own (preferred organization),” said Council Member Arne Woodard. “Those who don’t get anything shouldn’t feel bad.”
The money that had been proposed for those agencies was then divided among those that were supported by all seven council members. In all, 22 agencies asked $344,578 out of $150,000 available.
Agencies receiving funding included:
- Greater Spokane Inc., $34,582
- Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, $9,514
- International Trade Alliance, $9,282
- Spokane Valley Arts Council, $6,296
- Spokane Valley HUB Sports Center, $3,429
- Valleyfest, $19,368
- Coalition for the Responsible Disabled, $757
- Free Cakes for Kids Spokane, $229
- Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council, $1,643
- Project Access, $18,368
- Spokane Valley Heritage Museum, $1,429
- Spokane Valley HUB, $2,000
- Spokane Valley Partners, $29,225
- Spokane Valley Meals on Wheels, $9,368
- YWCA, $4,510
Each year, council members submit separate lists of those agencies seeking funding and the amounts preferred. In the past, the process could get bogged down in trying to figure out who gets what.
Under the new system – pioneered by former Council Member Bill Gothmann last year – the agencies who receive unanimous support get a bit extra from those who are cut from the list.
Towey also proposed the city officially adopt the formula so future councils are given direction and to speed up the process.