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City Council Members Want Transparency With Funding Awards to Non-Profits

Sandy Springs City Council approved $49,352 to seven non-profit organizations, last week. Separately, the Community Assistance Center received $100,000.

Sandy Springs City Council approved $49,352 to seven non-profit organizations, last week, but some Council members raised the question of transparency on where the funds are going. 

  • Act3 Productions received $10,000 to support programming. 
  • Sandy Springs Education Force received $15,000 for the after school All-Stars program. 
  • The Child Development Association received $9,990 for tuition assistance for low-income students. 
  • Senior Services North Fulton received $2,500 for a program at the Dorothy C. Benson Multipurpose Center. 
  • Art Sandy Springs received $6,000 to support its Showstoppers program. 
  • Heritage Sandy Springs received $2,862 to support its family and gardening days program. 
  • The National Council of Jewish Women received $3,000 for tutors in its summer reading program.
Separately, the Community Assistance Center received $100,000 from the City of Sandy Springs. Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny asked for details on where CAC funds were to be directed.

“Should the public not get an opportunity to see how they are spending the $100,000,” she said.

Assistant city manager Eden Freeman said Sandy Springs gets an annual accounting of how the funds are used. Rental payments, food pantry visits and utilities are generally where funds go, she said.

Mayor Eva Galambos added, “The CAC has a public meeting every year with very transparent statistics about how many they serve, where the families come from, [and] which jurisdictions; because of course Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are together in this.”

Councilmen John Paulson and Chip Collins also requested transparency going forward.

“[With] such a significant line item, there should be some annual report made in the City Council meeting, even if it is a five minute summary,” Collins said. “I would like to have a little more detail on how the $100,000 is spent.”

jMichael December 09, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Why should this even be a matter for debate. Transparency is the precondition to an informed citizenry... and to responsible governance. It is shameful that it is offered only begrudgingly.
David Davis December 09, 2013 at 04:41 PM
Cheers for Karen, Chip Collins and John Paulson for standing up for accountability and transparency. Isn't there an application process for this grant process and aren't recipients required to state in that application how the funds will be used and then make both an interim and final report of how they used their funding? That certainly is the case when applying for grants with the City of Atlanta or the State of Georgia. If not, then this process is neither transparent nor accountable and needs some structure and reporting requirements. General Bruce Clark who commanded a brigade at the Battle of the Bulge always admonished young officers "those things work best the boss checks." He was so right.

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