Consortium Sparks Discusssion

I voted against authorizing the Mayor to enter into agreement with Creative Projects Solutions for Grant Writing Consortium. The vote was 5 to 3 in favor of authorizing the Mayor to enter into the agreement.

I voted against authorization for several reasons:

1) The City of North Platte currently employees a grant writer.

2) In 2006 the City only used, 28.25 hours of the 100 hours of service it prepaid. And over the history of the Consortium the City regularly used fewer than the number of hours it paid for.

3) Because the City left 71.25 hours on the table other taxing entities used those hours purchased with City tax money.

4) The City is paying for a service that it no longer needs or it is unwilling or unable to use.

5) The City Council is responsible to see the money the City spends is used wisely and to full advantage. I think that we have not taken full advantage of the City’s membership in the Consortium.

I do think it is important for the City to partner with other local organizations to support and preserve the quality of life in North Platte. Participating in the Consortium is only one way the City might accomplish that goal and it may not be the best way.

I do believe discussing the City’s participation in the Consortium at Tuesday’s Council meeting was a valuable discussion. I do hope the Consortium will be a resource the City can and will take advantage of for reducing the City’s reliance on property tax. A first step in reaching that goal would be to use our full allotment of hours. I hope at the end of 2007 the City will have left no prepaid hours on the table as a full and active partner in the Consortium.

[update] Article about the discussion of the City’s participation in the Consortium from the North Platte Bulletin is here.

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