SOLANA BEACH — With a 4-1 vote at the Dec. 9 meeting, City Council allocated $25,000 to eight of 17 organizations that requested funding through the Community Grant Program. Mayor Tom Campbell said he could not support the distribution because two of the groups — North Coast Repertory Theatre and Buddy Bowl Inc. — were seeking funds for programs that will not help those who are less fortunate.
“I feel that there are programs in here that are far more needy,” Campbell said. “I’m not suggesting (NCRT and Buddy Bowl) are not good, worthy programs. I just think that there are greater needs right now.”
Last month representatives from organizations seeking funds were given an opportunity to explain to City Council how the money would be used. Since then, council members each compiled a list of the groups they felt were most deserving. Their choices were assembled into a chart that was presented during the Dec. 9 meeting. For the most part, organizations that received recommendations from a majority of council members were funded (see chart). Receiving unanimous support were Solana Beach Little League and Soccer Club, which sought funding for field improvements, and the Community Resource Center, which plans to use the money for Holiday Baskets, an annual program that provides food, clothing and toys for low-income families.
Receiving three nods each were Buddy Bowl, which was looking for funds to build a community garden at Skyline Elementary; NCRT, which is planning to produce a theater school play about the history of Solana Beach; and the Solana Beach Community Sing-Along, which sought money for new song books.
Campbell’s colleagues said they could appreciate his logic in not wanting to fund the NCRT request, but they also wanted to support the arts.
“(The play) is really community oriented,” Councilman Joe Kellejian said. “There’s hundreds of kids that will be going to it.
“I think sometimes in this very hectic world we live in we lose sight of our own community here. This is a good way for our kids to learn about and appreciate what they have in Solana Beach.”
Also receiving funds were Kids Korp USA and the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito, which will use the money to help low-income youth in Eden Gardens attend summer camps.
Since 2004, City Council has awarded grants totaling $25,000 to nonprofit, community-based, nongovernmental groups that serve the city and its residents. Coast Waste Management and EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the city’s two waste haulers, each contribute $5,000 to the program.
No more than $5,000 is awarded to any one program. Only the Community Resource Center and sing-along received their full grant request. All others were given at least half of what they asked for.