File Name: FUNDING FOR NON-PROFIT AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
Agenda Date: 6/18/2013
Agenda Item Number: 6B1
FUNDING FOR NON-PROFIT AND COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
Audrey M. Edmonson, Prime Sponsor
Board of County Commissioners
County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the title of the foregoing discussion item into the record
Chairwoman Sosa noted the purpose of the foregoing item was to discuss establishing a process to fund the non-profit and community-based organizations (CBOs). She said that for the past few years, the County had repeatedly allocated funding to the same CBOs without a process in place to determine their qualifications or evaluate their performances. She noted the Board had options, and could divide the funding among the thirteen districts, or could create a process similar to the one used for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to determine selection qualifications and funding recommendations. She said that this could be done countywide or by district. Chairwoman Sosa said that she would bring back legislation on this matter at the next Commission meeting for a discussion, but wanted to express her thoughts today (6/18). She stated that the Board needed to be aware of all of the important programs in the community, that every district had needs and that the entire County needed to be served. Chairwoman Sosa said that she planned to meet with Ms. Jennifer Glazer-Moon and the Office of Management and Budget staff this week to discuss her proposal; and she invited members of the Board to meet with her in a sunshine meeting to discuss their recommendations or submit them in writing for her so that she could review them and begin preparing legislation to establish a funding process for the CBOs.
Vice Chair Bell informed the Board that three items pertaining to the CBOs were forthcoming and that one of the items had already been approved by the Finance Committee.
Chairwoman Sosa asked Vice Chair Bell if she would meet with her in a sunshine meeting to review those items.
Commissioner Edmonson noted one of the items was sponsored by her, but she could not talk about it with the other commissioners because she was told that another commissioner was trying to accomplish the same thing. She said that she would like to meet with Commissioner Bell in a sunshine meeting as well, to work with her on these items.
Commissioner Jordan noted she and Commissioner Edmonson attended a meeting in the town of Goulds, in South Dade, and asked for a report, which was to include information and recommendations regarding the last RFP process; however, the Board never acted on them. She asked for clarification regarding the outcome of that process from a legal stand point.
County Attorney Cuevas said he was told that the recommended process was not acted upon.
Commissioner Jordan said she believed that an RFP was prepared and that recommendations were made, but the Commission chose not to act on it.
County Attorney Cuevas explained that normally a competitive process included time limits for entities to submit a proposal, and if not acted upon, they would lapse.
Ms. Jennifer Moon, Budget Director, Office of Management and Budget, stated that the Administration never made recommendations or presented them to the Board for approval.
Commissioner Jordan asked for clarification about the process because she needed to report to the Youth Crime Task Force that its recommendations were ranked, but not presented to the Board for approval. She noted the Task Force members expressed concern that their recommendations were not followed in the RFP process.
Ms. Moon clarified that the recommendations were submitted to the Clerk of Board in order to initiate the appeals process, but they were not formally submitted as recommendations to the Board for approval in an agenda Item.
County Attorney Cuevas explained that in a normal competitive process, the validity of the proposals would lapse by the terms provided in the RFP process, which could range from 60 to 180 days. He indicated that he did not know what terms were provided in this RFP process.
Commissioner Jordan said she wanted to be clear regarding the validity of the process, which had lapsed, and to inform the Task Force members that legislation was forthcoming to set up a new process.
Regarding the non-profit organizations and CBOs in Little Havana, Commissioner Barreiro noted about two meetings ago, the Board approved a motion for the Administration to prepare a report identifying a funding source to replenish their funding, as long as they did not use CDBG dollars for it; however, he was still awaiting that report. He said he was told that the Administration believed the motion was directing staff to bring back a report only if they could identify a funding source, but not that they were required to find a funding source.
Commissioner Moss noted this was why he brought up the issue regarding Little Havana earlier, and questioned what was to be done with the $2.3 million dollars. He noted the Board was relying on the Administration to find funding for little Havana, but other CBOs had been impacted as Little Havana was, and were in need of funding as well.
Chairwoman Sosa said that was why she proposed a process that was fair for everyone. She noted the State and federal governments continued to cut funding for these organizations, and the County was expected to fill the gap.
Board of County Commissioners
Board of County Commissioners
Commissioner Edmonson noted that non-profit and community-based organizations (CBOs) should not be forgotten in the midst of the County’s $84 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2013-14 budget deficit. She commented that County employees might need the services of these agencies in the event that they were forced to take additional pay reductions. Commissioner Edmonson noted that a fair and transparent method was needed to distribute future taxpayer dollars. She said that the children, elderly and senior food programs were the priority but many other areas also needed County support.
Commissioner Edmonson pointed out that not all CBOs would be funded, but stressed the importance that some organizations be sufficiently funded in order to make an impact in this community. She said that the County should not make funding exceptions on a case by case basis for individual organizations when there were so many needs to be met. Commissioner Edmonson noted the Board approved continuation funding as part of the General Fund budget. She said that CBOs were continuously asking for Board support throughout the year and at the annual budget hearings and pointed out that some worthy CBOs did not receive continuation funding.
Commissioner Edmonson indicated she wanted to gauge the sentiment of her colleagues whether to reinstitute the competitive CBO funding process as part of the FY 2013-14 budget recommendations. She noted staff should work closely with the smaller CBOs and provide them with technical assistance as needed to ensure that they were fully participating in the process and that everyone was being treated equally. Commissioner Edmonson said a competitive Request for Application would be a fairer and a more transparent process, noting that some CBOs who were recommended for funding did not receive funds and other CBOs who were not recommended for funding received funds. She noted this issue should be readdressed during the budget cycle so that commissioners had discretionary funding made available for CBOs that need assistance or a fully competitive process should be established.
Chairwoman Sosa noted a Discussion Item was not a Public Hearing.
Chairwoman Sosa asked Deputy Mayor Genaro “Chip” Iglesias to provide Board members with a report prior to the June 4, 2013 Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meeting identifying CBO’s that received County funding for the past three years; outlining each Commission District served by each CBO; whether the CBO’s achieved the goals identified in their funding request; methods used by Administration to recover funding when necessary; and the process used to ensure everyone was included in the CBO selection process.
Chairwoman Sosa inquired whether Commissioner Edmonson would include this Discussion Item on the June 4, 2013 BCC meeting after receiving the results of the information requested from Administration.
Commissioner Edmonson asked whether the requested information would be available with sufficient time for members of this Commission to review that document prior to the June 4, 2013 BCC meeting.
Ms. Jennifer Moon, Budget Director, Office of Management and Budget responded that the listing of CBOs was already available and that the description of the process could be compiled by the end of this week.
Commissioner Edmonson noted that she was trying to establish a transparent process to select CBOs, noting she was aware of CBOs in her Commission District who were not recommended for funding but received funds and some CBOs who were recommended for funding did not receive funds. She said that every CBO could not be funded and that a competitive process was needed that would ensure all Districts were sufficiently funded.
Chairwoman Sosa suggested that the process might need to be changed and that a proposal was needed to fix the process by ensuring public input and giving everyone the opportunity to apply.
Commissioner Edmonson commented that she would like to hear from her colleagues. She noted that she did not mind the Item being heard at the June 4, 2013 BCC meeting because she wanted time to review the requested report and to address her concerns with members of the Administration. Commissioner Edmonson requested that Ms. Moon confirm that the report would be available as mentioned earlier.
Ms. Moon confirmed that she would prepare a report explaining the process by the end of the week and that the CBO list would be printed and provided to members of this Commission tomorrow.
Commissioner Edmonson deferred the foregoing proposed discussion item until the June 4, 2013 BCC meeting.
Commissioner Jordan commented that the Alliance for Human Services that was responsible for the Request for Proposal (RFP) process was abolished and the County once again began handling the CBO process. She noted the County Commission provided continuation funding to CBOs with an initial thirty percent reduction in funding rather than to reject the RFP recommendations. Commissioner Jordan said it was pointed out in a Youth Crime Task Force meeting that there was an outstanding RFP process which was never implemented by the Commission. She commented that Commissioner Edmonson spoke about organizations that were recommended for funding but never received funding through an RFP process approved by this Commission. Commissioner Jordan said a decision was needed as to whether to reject that RFP or to issue a new RFP. She said it was unfair to those organizations that were waiting for several years to receive funding.
Commissioner Bell encouraged CBOs to begin looking for private sector funding in addition to funding from governmental sources. She noted she would be presenting legislation that would regulate CBOs and require that they provide sufficient information before committing public money. Commissioner Bell said the District Commissioner should be included in the funding process.
Commissioner Bovo commented that a projected $50 million budget deficit was not a healthy situation for the County. He noted that CBOs should obtain private funding and there should be a criteria developed where government would augment private funding. Commissioner Bovo said he was developing legislation relating to how much the County would contribute toward CBO administrative costs, noting that County funds should be directly allocated to helping people in need.
Commissioner Heyman thanked Commissioner Edmonson for initiating this discussion. She proceeded to read a Memorandum dated April 18, 2013 to Mayor Gimenez requesting a review of the County’s $20 million CBO budget into the record, noting that this was a repeated request over several years with no response. Commissioner Heyman asked Deputy Mayor Iglesias to provide her with a written response from Mayor Gimenez to this memorandum. She proceeded to indicate that she believed no more than 15 percent of a CBOs total budget should be used toward administrative costs.
Commissioner Heyman noted that although the $20 million was a lot of money, it was not enough for the underfunded needs of this community and legitimate agencies could further their efforts with matched funds and partnerships. She commented that the Women’s Fund and the United Way received County funding and subsequently used these monies to fund other organizations while holding them to higher standards than did the County. Commissioner Heyman said these agencies had computerized records and would be willing to vet out the County list for duplicity and lack of funding, but have not been formally asked to do this.
Commissioner Monestime commented that CBOs used the majority of their funding for overhead and salary expenses and that limiting administrative costs to 15 percent was not fair, noting that the majority of the County’s budget was used for salaries. He said that County employees provided direct assistance to thousands of other people in the community and in the same fashion CBO administrative staff also provided service to the community through their organizations. Commissioner Monestime noted that he understood the impact of declining property values on County’s ability to generate revenue; however, he noted the importance of CBOs and the services that they provided to the most vulnerable in this community which the County did not.
Commissioner Moss spoke about the need for the County Commission to once again have discretionary funding available to assist organizations in need. He said that not all organizations were able to obtain corporate funding and those that did were finding those funds being reduced as well. Commissioner Moss noted he felt good about helping many groups and organizations in his District that were helping people who were not otherwise being helped.
Commissioner Edmonson noted some excellent comments and suggestions were made by her colleagues that she would consider, particularly by Commissioners Bell and Bovo. She said she looked forward to reviewing the information that would be provided in the requested report and to the additional discussion on this Item at the next County Commission meeting.
Chairwoman Sosa asked the Clerk of the Board to include a Discussion Item pertaining to “Funding for Non-Profit and Community Based Organizations” on the June 4, 2013 Board of County Commissioners meeting agenda.
Office of the Chairperson
There is no text currently available online for this item.