Agendas and Minutes

Citizens' Budget Committee (View All)

Economic and Cultural Grant Allocation Meeting

Minutes
Thursday, April 06, 2006

                                      Economic and Cultural Development

Minutes

April 6, 2006 7pm

Civic Center, Council Chambers, 1175 East Main Street

 

 

This meeting is a continuation of the meeting from April 5, 2006.

 

 

CALL TO ORDER

 

The Citizen’s Budget Subcommittee meeting for Economic and Cultural Grants was called to order at 7:05 pm on April 6, 2006, in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main Street Ashland, Oregon.

 

ROLL CALL

 

Councilor Jackson, Silbiger were present.  Budget Committee members Stebbins, Mackris, Thompson, and Everson were present.

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:               LEE TUNEBERG, FINANCE DIRECTOR

                                                BRYN MORRISON, ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE

                                                VERONICA WARD, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

 

PUBLIC INPUT

 

None

 

Lee Tuneberg, Administrative Services/Finance Director spoke to an email that was sent to him regarding conflicts of interest and that a member of the Committee resides on an grant applicant organizations board. Mr. Tuneberg added that he invited this individual to speak at the meeting to voice his concern. Lynn Thompson, Budget Committee member stated that she was a member of the board of Second Street Musicians and she abstained from the allocation for that applicant.  The Committee determined that was appropriate.

 

COMMITTEE DISCUSSION

 

The Committee Members each submitted their proposed allocations for the grant funding.  See attached.

 

The Committee discussed why some members did not grant all of the available funds. Some members felt that this process was a work in progress and would revise their figures throughout the night. Some members were new at the process and this was a starting point to allocate and they could adjust throughout the night.

 

The Committee discussed that they will use Resolution 2004-32 that is in place to allocate the funding.  There was concern mentioned that there is not guidance and criteria on how to allocate the funding.  It was mentioned that in the next year, the Resolution may need to be changed to offer more guidance.

 

The Committee spoke to the portion each organization would dedicate towards tourism.  The amount required from the smaller grantees is $19,311. The Committee discussed section 3 of Resolution 2004-32.  See attached funding worksheet. They spoke to the need to assure that the tourism amount per the state statute is accomplished.

 

ALLOCATIONS

 

In much of the Committee discussion, it was mentioned that it is unclear if the direction is to fund one time, start up costs, or one time performances or ongoing expenses.  It was determined that Council needs to give more direction on the allocation of these funds.

 

Community Works: Everson, Silbiger, Jackson, and Stebbins felt that the proposal for Community Works did not fit the requirements for economic development and was more of a social service grant.  Mackris and Thompson felt it was an arguable point in regards to the assistance to local businesses.  Everson added that all of this funding is business support although this organization is funding belongs in the social service grant process.

 

Nuwandart:  Thompson thought the proposal was confusing as to what they were doing now and how it fell into the requirements.  The financial information was not clear as to the non profit and the Nuwandart entity.  Jackson agreed that the financial information was confusing.  Silbiger said that they have a history of applying for the 501c3 and applying for grants.  The NAAPA is Nuwandart. The Committee requested that staff look further into the tax status of the 501 c3 certification.  Thompson made the point that they would like to make sure the applicant is the same entity.  Everson stated that many applicants are fiscally sponsored by someone else, legitimately.  Mackris added that they are doing programs with children and exposing them to non traditional art forms.  Jackson added that they reach people in their 20-30’s.

 

Multi Cultural Association: Jackson was uncomfortable by the relation between the radio station and the Multi Cultural Association.  She was not comfortable with the City sponsoring their journalistic quality. Mackris thought it was a good option for an alternative radio station that may give a voice to some of the population that hasn’t been heard in this community.  Silbiger would like to grant once as a start for them. The Committee discussed to award for start up funding, and does not want to see this as an ongoing funding source. Everson suggested funding at full request with the note that it is for start up costs only.

 

Jefferson Center for Religion: The Committee determined that they did not want to provide funding for religious organizations.

 

Second Street Musicians:  Everson proposed $0, but stated they should put on concerts that raise money for themselves. 

 

Dancing People Company:  The Committee questioned the tax status. Jackson expressed concern that this previously was a for profit business and now is non profit requesting funding from the City. Bryn Morrison clarified that they have applied for the 501 c3 status but have not received confirmation as of this meeting.  Everson did clarify that the IRS does not send out those letters of intent to receive the tax status and not grant it. 

 

Peace House:  The Committee felt it was not an appropriate request for funding.

 

Art Now!:  Stebbins felt it was more of a Chamber 4th of July event rather than a City funded event.  Jackson stated that the Art Now artists wished to get paid and that didn’t fit the requirements. 

 

Children’s Musical Theater: Everson and Silbiger proposed $0; they felt it was one family’s work and they asked for too much funding.  Mackris proposed $2,500 because they work with kids.  Jackson said that it has been a private business and they are now requesting City support and the theater charges a fee.  Silbiger would like to see this organization come back in their next request with accomplishments from this year.

 

Chautauqua Poets and Writers: Mackris wanted to support it.  Felt they really worked with the schools.  Thompson felt it was a cultural event and it was good as a seed grant. Everson commented that it is the only literary art form request.

 

Southern Oregon Reparatory Singers: Stebbins felt the application was poorly written, but they do a lot for the community.  Thompson questioned if they really needed the money, they have a following and a ticket price.  She felt that they deserved seed funding.

 

Arts Council: Jackson stated this is a beginning project; she is interest in the visual arts support in the community.  This is something that could become an annual event.  Thompson proposed $2,500 as a one time event.  Everson said it does reach a Council goal of expanding the off season or winter season. 

 

St. Clair Productions: The Committee questioned if the applicants know the amount available for granting when they submit their applications.  Staff responded they do. Silbiger stated that this is one applicant that does an outstanding job and would support it again. 

 

Lithia Arts Guild:  Everson stated she felt that they represent a broad cross section of the community. Jackson would like to see how they balance what they charge and how they raise money other than City funding.

 

Youth Symphony:  The Committee consensus was used.

 

Konway Nika Tillicum:  Jackson believes there is great value in the Native American Culture.  Everson felt it is more ethnically cultural than any other proposal.

 

Oregon Stage Works: Stebbins did not feel that they needed the money from looking at their financial statement but was supportive of the Stage Works program. Thompson stated that their budget did not relate to the children’s theater, but stated that the City gives a large amount to the OSF and it would seem reasonable to give to them. Stebbins added that the children pay to take these classes. It was unclear what the funding would go towards.

 

Siskiyou Singers: The Committee looked at the local culture experience and liked the low ticket price.  

 

Ballet Rogue: The Committee commented that it is free and open to the public.

 

SOWAC: There was concern to the direction of the agency. Everson spoke on their behalf and the struggles they are currently going through and they do not intend to change their direction while they rebuild their board.

 

Thrive:    Silbiger stated that they provide more pure economic development within the community. The Committee thought they should be encouraged to keep helping small businesses.  Thompson questioned that they serve a niche of food based businesses.  She questioned the local business publicity and how that reflects on the City.  Silbiger replied that they encourage increasing the local economy.

 

The Committee took a break at 8:43 PM, returned at 8:50 PM.

 

Ashland Independent Film Festival: Thompson felt that this is a fabulous venue but they are successful and the City shouldn’t fund employee’s salary and benefits.  Everson stated that their request meets the criteria of the grant. Stebbins voiced that some of the events are free to the community.  Silbiger voiced that their financing should be looked at, the more successful they are the more grant money they will require to run their organization. The Committee suggested that this organization not make comments like they will go away if they do not receive funding from the City.

Jackson added they should become more self supportive and less reliant on grant funds. There is a lot of off season tourism brought in which is also a Council goal.

 

Rogue Valley Symphony:   The Committee discussed that they are a perennial recipient.  Thompson thought that this type of grant is designed to provide a foundation for these core activities that are cultural in nature.  Jackson added that the City continues to grant them funding, while leaning towards not providing funding to the previous for profit organizations.  Everson added that she is as supportive of the Symphony as she is of Nuwandart, supporting a variety of cultural events is important.

 

Ashland Gallery Association:  Everson thinks this organization fulfills all of the criteria of the grant. Silbiger agreed.

 

ScienceWorks:  The Committee went with the average. Jackson hesitated because the City has given them marketing and development funding for years. She is not as confident that it is either economic development or cultural as it is assuring that the City has more science and education opportunities. Stebbins sees that it is very strong in tourism.

 

Rogue Opera: Stebbins pointed out more of their focus is education in the schools.

Everson thought that teaching children about opera is cultural where they may not receive this education without this organization.

 

The Committee discussed if they needed to allocate all of the monies available.  Everson stated that it is incumbent on the City to invest these funds in economic, cultural, and tourism related businesses and to carry it forward is inappropriate. Jackson agreed.

 

Everson/Mackris ms to approve the allocations as stated.  All Ayes.

 

Mr. Tuneberg reminded the Committee to offer any suggestions to the application, resolution, and process. 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Stebbins/Thompson ms to adjourn. All Ayes.

 

The meeting was adjourned at  9:27 PM.

 

 Respectfully Submitted,

 

Bryn Morrison

Account Representative

 Click here to view allocations.

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