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Council awards grants to arts, civics groups

ENCINITAS — At Wednesday night’s meeting, City Council allocated $150,000 in grants to arts and civics groups as part of the city of Encinitas and Mizel Family Foundation Community Grant Program. 

Nearly $75,000 came from the city’s general fund, with a matching donation from the local Mizel Family Foundation.

Of the $150,000, a panel made up of city commissioners recommended where $141,600 should go prior to the council meeting, and councilmembers awarded the remaining $8,400.

Several groups made their case to council.

“I would ask for your support to help these kids continue their music program,” said Ken Harrison, who was among the supporters for the Ada Harris Wildcat Band.

Harrison added that after state budget cuts, parents stepped up to fund the program, but they still need some help.

The Ada Harris Wildcat Band received $2,000 to the delight of supporters.

As well as the band, the Encinitas Community Emergency Response Team was given $2,000.

Scrumptious Schoolyards, a garden program at Cardiff Elementary, got $1,500. Additionally, $2,000 went toward playground equipment at Park Dale Lane elementary and the Rob Machado Foundation received $900.

The vote to allocate the grants was 4-0. Councilwoman Kristin Gaspar recused herself because she served on several of the boards that were seeking funds.

This year, 59 groups applied for grants, an increase of three from the prior year. However, not all of the groups received funding.

In 2009, the Mizel Family Foundation began matching the city’s grant.

1 comment

Concerned Citizen June 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm

The City of Encinitas would have a great deal more money to allocate for Grants, and could have given the charitable groups requesting money their full requests, if the City didn’t give excessive subsidies to local “non-profit” 101 Mainstreet Associations, at over $175,000 per year, including the contracted yearly amount of $105,000, for 101 Czar/Coordinator, Peder Norby, who is also on the Board of Directors of the EPA, which has received over $831,000 in affordable housing funds and direct grants through the City.

Also, the people don’t want and don’t need for our two year city manager, Gus Vina, to hire a full time employee PR Communications Specialist, to do “damage control” after the City’s failure to defeat Prop A. That the citizens don’t want a Communications Specialist has been repeated over and over, by public speakers, and by e-mails sent to the City. But Vina, through illegal briefings with Council, has pushed through hiring another Yes-man/woman, to stack his “cabinet,” so that he can get high marks on his upcoming evaluation. We hope Vina will be let go or will get a least a 20% reduction in pay, to keep his salary in alignment with other North County cities of our size. Vina is now making more in Encinitas than he was in Sacramento, yearly, by which MUCH LARGER city Vina was given a vote of no confidence, before he came to work in Encinitas, in about July of 2011.

All of the 101 Mainstreet Association and the Encinitas Preservation Association were prominently featured in No on A campaign literature filled with lies and distortion. None of these groups, and Norby, should not have their “contracts” or subsidies through the taxpayers, renewed. We support our local businesses, but not when they act against the best interests of the residents as sponsors/subsidiaries of elected officials, lobbying for projects or campaigns that would help a few to achieve short term profit, but leveraging the “symbiotic influence as partners” against the best interests of the neighborhoods and against us, the people who live here, the “little guys.”

All non-profits, whether small community groups or business associations rebranding as part of Mainstreet USA, should have to compete for the limited “pot” of money available for subsidies and grants. Non-profits that actually perform charitable work should not be treated as “second class” non-profits, behind the business groups that are sucking up to Council, pushing through their private agendas of short term profit and misinformation. Not all of the members of the the 101 Mainstreet groups are “on board” with what a majority, not all of the members of their boards of directors have done at the recent election, however. Citizens do support a thriving business community, that recognizes its best customers are usually we locals who patronize their stores.

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